After nearly two days of blackouts in central Labrador, power is expected to return on Friday evening with help from Muskrat Falls


About 40 percent of the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay was still without power at lunchtime on Friday, November 26, and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro says the remaining power will be restored this evening.

Mayor George Andrews told SaltWire that parts of the city had been supplied with back-up electricity since Thursday and were told that it was not possible at that time to run electricity between customers, but it happened on Friday to give electricity to some areas that weren’t not part of the restoration on Thursday.

“It’s cold, my house is getting cold now,” said Andrews, who has been without electricity from the start. “I see people regaining power who didn’t have it and others losing it now. They hope to get everything back tonight, that’s what we’ve been told.

The entire Lake Melville area lost power around 3:15 a.m. on Thursday, November 25, including Happy Valley-Goose Bay, North West River, Sheshatshiu and Mud Lake.

Andrews said essential city services were powered, which he credits to Hydro, as well as many companies. Schools in the area were closed on both days.

When the city found out that power would not be restored on Thursday night, it set up warming stations, Andrews said, which some residents took advantage of.

“We had them come for a coffee, to warm up,” he said. “I know there are residents who are frustrated, people have been without heat for a while, but it’s coming back online soon.”

The line will provide improved reliability: Hydro

NL Hydro vice president of operations Scott Crosbie told SaltWire they understand many residents are upset and some have been without power for a long time, but connecting to the Muskrat Falls transmission line will prevent such situations in the future.

Goudie said the issue was with a transmission line about 180 miles from Churchill Falls. Weather conditions prevented them from sending helicopters, so Labrador-like workers were sent on snowmobiles.

When Hydro knew it couldn’t fix the line in time to restore power Thursday night, Crosbie said, work began to connect the area to a new transmission line from Muskrat Falls.

Crosbie said it would still be electricity from Churchill Falls, but on a new line. The line was already built, he said, but first had to wait for some work at Muskrat Falls to ensure reliability. Once this was done, Hydro waited for an opportunity to plug it in, which would require a 12 hour outage.

“We knew it would take most of the day to connect the old line, but in the same amount of time we could connect to the line and get people on it and the high reliability that would bring. “said Crosbie. “We had prepared for it, we had plans in place, so once we realized we were going to be in the second day of blackout, it didn’t matter if we made the decision.”

Crosbie said the plan was put in place while waiting for an emergency like this, to avoid an unnecessary blackout. The area will now remain on that new transmission line, he said, and replace a line from Churchill Falls.

Hydro said electricity is expected to come back on at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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