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Nova Scotia Power to overhaul outage notification system

The Nova Scotia Power headquarters located in Halifax, on June 11. 2012.
The Nova Scotia Power headquarters located in Halifax, on June 11. 2012. Lee Brown/The Canadian Press Images

HALIFAX – Changes are coming to the way Nova Scotia Power communicates with its customers during outages and major storms, including sending text messages.

The recommendations were made by the province’s public utilities regulator.

The Utility and Review Board says Nova Scotia Power has agreed to virtually all of its 32 suggestions for improvement.

The board says the privately owned utility will also overhaul its automated telephone line to provide individualized information.

It’s also calling for a revamped interactive online outage map that won’t crash when a major storm moves in and online traffic goes up.

Post-tropical storm Arthur hit the province on July 5.

A total of 245,000 customers without power at some point, some of them for as long as eight days.

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The utility faced intense criticism for the way it communicated with the public during the outages.

Nova Scotia Power is expected to provide an update on its progress to the Utility and Review Board at the end of the month.

A work plan for long-term action is due by Nov. 15.