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

‘Surrounding a community with a fire break won’t help’

RDCK offers fire danger assessments to homeowners

LETTER: 140,000 jobs are at risk

From reader Robert MacCrae

LETTER: Grateful for guardian angels

From reader Botella (Bo) Rudolph

LETTER: Bike lanes overdue

From reader Nancy Rosenblum

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read