RCMP investigate cutting of tree that caused large southeast N.B. power outage

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RCMP are investigating the cutting of a tree that fell onto power lines, causing more than 50,000 N.B. Power customers to lose power Wednesday evening.  (Submitted by the RCMP - image credit)
RCMP are investigating the cutting of a tree that fell onto power lines, causing more than 50,000 N.B. Power customers to lose power Wednesday evening. (Submitted by the RCMP - image credit)

A massive power outage in southeastern New Brunswick on Wednesday evening was caused by a tree that was cut, N.B. Power says.

RCMP are now investigating, the utility said Thursday.

N.B. Power spokesperson Dominique Couture said in an email that a large tree fell on a key piece of equipment in the Moncton area.

It affected two transmission lines, and more than 50,000 customers lost power for several hours. Transmission lines feed smaller distribution networks. Couture compared it to a highway and street network.

"In this case, upon further investigation, it's been determined that this tree was cut," Couture said. "The RCMP is now investigating, and we are collaborating in that investigation."

Submitted by the RCMP
Submitted by the RCMP

New Brunswick RCMP Staff Sgt. André Pepin said the tree was cut near the Trans-Canada Highway and McLaughlin Road in Moncton.

"The RCMP is doing an investigation, trying to find out who cut that tree and so we've asked for anybody with information about that to contact the Codiac RCMP," Pepin said.

The outage began around 8:35 p.m. AT, affecting areas around Moncton. Power had largely been restored by midnight.