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UPDATED: Generation equipment offers temporary solution to Charlottetown, Pinsent's Arm power outage

Local firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze at the hydro plant in Charlottetown. Photo courtesy of Lisa Dempster.
Local firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze at the hydro plant in Charlottetown. Photo courtesy of Lisa Dempster. - Contributed

UPDATED:

CHARLOTTETOWN, N.L. - Temporary generation equipment was used to restore power by 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 to all of NL Hydro's customers affected by an outage in Charlottetown and Pinsent's Arm.

The outage occurred after a Monday morning fire at the NL Hydro diesel plant in Charlottetown.

A spokesperson for NL Hydro told The Northern Pen the generation units will be reliable through the winter or until a longer-term plan for the diesel plant is determined.

“A permanent solution will have to go through our normal regulated process of review and approval of any investment with the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities,” the statement read.

NL Hydro says its first priority, after extinguishing the fire, was to get power back to the communities.

Now it will turn its attention to the fire investigation.

No cause for the fire has presently been reported.

EARLIER STORY:

As of late this afternoon, NL Hydro is still working to restore power in Charlottetown and Pinsent's Arm.

Early Monday morning, the local fire department responded to a fire that broke out at the NL Hydro diesel plant in Charlottetown.

The crew was able to control the fire and had it extinguished around 9 a.m.

There were no injuries.

NL Hydro says there is no safety risk to residents; however, it asks people to avoid the area for their own safety as well as for emergency personnel on site.

Some 250 customers have been left without power

As of 4 p.m. a NL Hydro crew was still examining the potential of restoring power using temporary generation units already in place at the site prior to the fire.

It hopes to be able to restore power to some customers tonight. However, NL Hydro advises it is possible the outage may continue for all customers into tomorrow.

The Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company (LFUSC) shrimp plant is a major employer in Charlottetown currently without power.

While it may take a little longer to get the plant itself up and running, LFUSC General Manger Gilbert Linstead was hopeful the cold storage facility could be connected tonight.

If not, he says, trucks on standby to move their stock of frozen shrimp to their cold storage facility in L’Anse-au-Loup.

Linstead wasn’t concerned about losing product as there was no fresh shrimp at the plant ready for processing at the time of the power outage.

“There’s no reason for anybody to panic at the present time,” he told The Northern Pen.

If the power isn’t back when the shrimp is landed again, Linstead says they’ll make arrangements for the fishermen.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A fire at an NL Hydro diesel plant has left the towns of Charlottetown and Pinsent’s Arm without power.

NL Hydro confirmed a fire broke out at the plant in Charlottetown early this morning.

The local fire department was able to control the fire had it extinguished around 9 a.m.

There were no injuries.

NL Hydro says there is no safety risk to residents; however, it asks people to avoid the area for their own safety as well as for emergency personnel on site.

Some 250 customers have been left without power

“We are communicating with local stakeholders and once we are able to safely assess the site, our priority will immediately focus on restoring power for customers,” a statement from NL Hydro read.

No timeline was provided when the power would be restored.

For further updates on the outage, customers can visit nlhydro.com/outages or call 1-888-737-1296

The Northern Pen will provide more information as it becomes available.

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