Gros Morne businesses fume, prompting NL Hydro to change planned power outage

Gros Morne businesses fume, prompting NL Hydro to change planned power outage

2019-07-31T10:46:50+00:00July 31st, 2019|Water Energy|

Entrepreneurs said they would lose business without electricity most of the day

Business owners on the south side of Gros Morne National Park scored a partial win Monday, after NL Hydro changed the hours of a planned power outage.

The electricity was supposed to be off from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tuesday for customers in the area, which includes Woody Point and Trout River, in order to install some new equipment.

That was not sitting well with some entrepreneurs.

“Losing one day in July is a big hit, for sure, and we will feel it,” said Jenny Parsons Monday afternoon. Parsons owns the Seaside Restaurant in Trout River, as well as the Merchant Warehouse in Woody Point.

She said she found out about the outage on Friday via social media, and finally reached someone from the power utility on Monday morning, when she was told it was too late to reschedule.

“They should’ve consulted with the businesses, first of all, to see if it was good timing,” she said.

Last-minute change

As it turns out, it was not too late to reschedule.

After CBC News contacted NL Hydro about the entrepreneur’s concerns, a spokesperson replied late Monday afternoon stating the outage would now take place from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

“We certainly understand that any outage impacts our customers — planned and unplanned — and continue to take all feedback into consideration as we plan critical work,” reads the NL Hydro statement.

“Our teams consider many things when scheduling outages – weather, schools, businesses and other community events. We appreciate our customers bringing forward their feedback regarding this planned outage.”

The 6 a.m. start time was something Parsons had suggested, since she could still reopen in time for the lunch rush.

‘A real big issue’

Greg Pike of Pike’s Service Station in Birchy Head had ice on his mind, as he wondered how he would supply the nearby summer camp with its large daily order of ice from his ice machine, among his other business dealings that require electricity to operate.

“It’s a real big issue,” he told CBC Monday afternoon. “It’s an impact on all the businesses around.”

Pike said he called NL Hydro days earlier than Parsons to ask for the outage to be rescheduled, but was similarly rebuffed.

In its statement to CBC, NL Hydro does not mention why the outage was re-scheduled the evening before the work, and not earlier.

Parsons acknowledged maintenance work needs to be done, but “not in the peak time of our tourism season.”


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