Truro bakery owner wants better communication of scheduled power outages
When Piper Bowes first learned her bakery was set to lose power multiple days this week, it wasn't from Nova Scotia Power.
Instead, she found out through one of her employees at Red Knot Bakery in Truro, N.S., who'd seen a post about upcoming street maintenance on the town's Facebook page.
It was only last Friday, three days before the outages were set to begin, that Bowes says NSP employees came into her business to inform her about the disruption.
"Being told on a Friday … is not enough time for small businesses to prepare for a closure of this length," she said Thursday during an interview with Information Morning Nova Scotia.
Bowes said she was told on that day to expect an outage on Monday, and there was the potential for more intermittent ones throughout the week.
But Bowes was further confused by information on NSP's website that stated the the street the bakery is on would be affected by "system upgrade work requiring 4-7 hour outages Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday."
Small businesses need more notice, says Bowes
NSP spokesperson Matt Drover said the company made multiple attempts to contact each of its 12 clients in advance of the outages, in addition to posting about it on the NSP website.
"We understand that nobody wants to have an outage," said Drover. "The work for this was to update the power system to make sure the poles along the street were replaced with brand new poles that could withstand future weather events."
He said the company may have had difficulty contacting some clients due to outdated contact information, but that it will look into ways to communicate this information more expediently in the future.
Bowes said she'd like to see clients given a month's notice of any planned outages.
"It can have a devastating impact. Four days of business can just snowball," she said.
Affected clients encouraged to call NSP directly
Drover said work to replace the poles was completed on Tuesday, and that the initial notice online listing planned outages on Wednesday and Thursday only as a precaution.
But Bowes said that same message wasn't communicated directly to her.
She said she was kept in the dark even after work had finished, making it difficult for her to let customers know when the bakery would be open.
Going forward, Drover said that Nova Scotia Power will work to update the website and notify clients as soon as work is finished.
While he stopped short of saying clients who lost power this week would be entitled to compensation, he suggested anyone upset by the outages contact NSP directly.
"We definitely understand how impactful this is," he said.
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