WABUSH, N.L. - Around 4:30 a.m. Aug. 10 all of a sudden the lights went out. People getting ready for work and those yet to rise didn’t know it yet, but most were about to get a day off.
The power ended up being off for about 12 hours.
If you ended up with the day off, thank the birds.
“The outage in Wabush on Friday started around 4:30 a.m. as a result of a bird coming into contact with a power line in the area,” according to NL Hydro spokesperson Janine McCarthy. “This line contact caused some of our equipment to trip offline, which unfortunately led to damage that crews had to locate and repair before power could be restored for customers.
McCarthy said as they began investigating the outage, the cause initially appeared to be with equipment in the substation. That proved to be challenging, she said, and took time to troubleshoot, but unfortunately did not resolve the issue as originally expected. After a visual inspection of power lines in the area, there was no other visible damage so the crew then carried out an extensive, on-the-ground inspection of the power line and structures.
“While this was a time-consuming effort, the crew did discover a damaged section of conductor (wire) on the line between the Wabush terminal station and the substation — this had to be repaired before power could be restored,” she said.
NL Hydro acknowledges extended outages like this can be very challenging for customers, she said, and they appreciated understanding as crews worked through the issues last week.
Power was restored for all customers by about 4 p.m. that day.
After hearing what happened Wabush Mayor Ron Barron told The Aurora they are in the process of writing NL Hydro to find out more about the state of the substation.
“There is work they have been saying for a few years that had to happen, and in light of recent power outages, we want to encourage them to get the work done,” he said.