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

Ammonia leak shuts down Nelson Curling Club

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Four points for Fawcett as Leafs win 7th straight

Nelson edged the Fernie Ghostriders 4-3

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

Sanchez leads Leafs to 6th straight win

Nelson held off Spokane 3-2 on Friday

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read