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Frustrated Uphill residents plead with city to fix three-decade-old electrical problem

Letters to the editor
By Letters to the editor
July 29th, 2012

Editor, The Nelson Daily:

After the thunderstorm on July 20, we, in the small area of Uphill near Robson and Hall Streets, are wondering, once again, why no one at the City Electrical Department was aware that ourpower didn’t come back on when the rest of the City’s power was restored. 

We and our neighbours within this very small grid (approximately 10 – 12 homes) were without power for at least 24 hours.

When we returned home at 5:30 p.m. on July 20 and found our power out we called the Emergency after-hours number and were told that no one knew that our power was still out, and, assumingthat all Nelson had had its power restored, Nelson’s electrical crews had been sent out to assist the Balfour area.  

We were told that, since the workers were not in town, our power would not likely be restored until the early hours of Saturday, July 21, and that a tree may have fallen on the lines near Mountain Station. 

Later, one of our neighbours who also phoned in was told our power would not be restored until even laterSaturday morning.

Because the weather was hot and humid, our neighbours and we rented and shared a generator to keep our freezers going. 

Others were stuffing their refrigerators with bags of ice to keep the contents cool.  Several families were out of town and, unfortunately, probably still know nothing of that power outage.

Someone from the Nelson Fire Department kindly drove up and had an impromptu street meeting with us and our neighbours.  

We were told that a transformer in our neighbourhood — turned out to be only two doors up from our home — had blown and it could not be replaced until a full contingent of electrical workers were available to do the job.

That full contingent of workers did not arrive until late afternoon on Saturday, July 21, when the repair/replacement was made within a half hour. 

Obviously, the reason for the delay was that the City of Nelson crews were assisting outlying areas and not their own citizens.

Also, several of our neighbours did not realize that the onus is on us — the taxpayers — to inform the City Electrical Department of power outages in our area.   

Our neighbourhood would appreciate the City letting us know when this has been rectified as well.

Once again we are wondering when the City will rectify the problem of our small grid suffering prolonged power outages when the rest of Nelson has had its power restored within a short time. 

Furthermore, this has been ongoing since we moved into our home in 1974.

We remember the great distress we went through during an exceptionally cold period during the winter two years ago when our little area had no electricity, therefore, no heat, and the temperature in our home dropped perilously until the power was restored many, many hours later.

Once again, we are asking the Mayor and Councillors to look into this long and frustrating ongoing problem in our small area and let us know when it will be rectified once and for all so that our neighbourhood may enjoy the comforts the majority of Nelson taxpayers enjoy.

Gwen Cavanaugh

Nelson, BC


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