The tape measure that was thrown into a Nelson Hydro substation over the weekend. The section from 17” to 79” of the tape is missing which is likely because it was vaporized in the arc.

Vandals hit Nelson Hydro substation

City-owned utility suspects deliberate act caused Sunday night power outage and are offering a reward for tips leading to arrest of culprits

An act of suspected vandalism to a Nelson Hydro substation caused a three-hour power outage and officials said the outcome could have been a lot worse.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, a Nelson Hydro press release issued on Wednesday morning stated that the act of vandalism took place at the City of Nelson utility’s Six Mile Substation on the North Shore.

Vandals allegedly tossed a steel tape measure into the 25,000-lovt electrical wires feeding a protective recloser. Being highly conductive the steel tape initiated a flash-over fault between wires and the resulting arc damaged the insulator bushings on the recloser.

The subsequent power outage caused approximately 2,900 customers to be without electricity for three hours.

“Firstly, actions like this are extremely dangerous,” the press release stated. “Although the culprits may have been at a distance from the fault arc, there is a high possibility of injury from flying debris (porcelain from broken insulators, molten metal from conductors and the tape measure, etc.) and the arc flash, that can cause severe burns and vision damage.”

In photos of the tape measure taken at the scene, the section from 17” to 79” of the tape is missing which is likely because it was vaporized in the arc.

Nelson Hydro staff are required to observe strict safety procedures and wear appropriate protective equipment when inside substations or working with high voltage.

“Individuals purposely causing equipment failure and flash-over events from outside the fence are creating, and exposing themselves to, extreme hazards that the design of the substation could not reasonably protect against,” the release states.

Other than the danger posed to the suspected vandals, Nelson Hydro said these kind of unnecessary outages are costly to the utility and annoying for customers.

These actions reduce power reliability and may cause unsafe conditions for home and business owners which leads to increased power rates for customers,” the release states.

If anyone witnessed this event or has information about this incident, they are asked to call the Nelson RCMP at (250) 352-2156. Through the RCMP, Nelson Hydro is offering a reward to anyone supplying information to the RCMP that leads to the arrest of the vandals involved in this incident. Report anything that you feel may assist in their investigation. For anonymous tips, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Nelson Hydro is also sending out a reminder to report a power outage, electrical hazard, damage to Nelson Hydro equipment or for outage updates to call 1-877-324-9376.

 

Just Posted

Downtown Automotive awarded for hiring practices

The annual award is handed out by the Kootenay Career Development Society

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

VIDEO: Nelson Tennis Club’s new home opens

The revitalized courts above LVR had their grand opening Saturday

Purcell withdraws from Nelson council election

First-time candidate Heather Keczan has also withdrawn

U.S. Court upholds Teck pollution ruling

Teck appealed a previous decision that it must pay $8.25 million in Colville Confederated Tribes’ court costs

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Tempering the B.C. cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

B.C. cancer patient’s case exposes gaps in care for homeless people: advocates

Terry Willis says he’s praying for a clean, safe place to live to undergo the cancer treatments he needs after he was denied chemotherapy because he lives in a Victoria homeless shelter.

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Most Read