Power pole leaning into Halifax street takes more than six months to replace

Click to play video 'Repeated calls to have leaning power pole replaced frustrates Halifax resident' Repeated calls to have leaning power pole replaced frustrates Halifax resident
WATCH: A Halifax resident says a power pole outside of his home has been leaning into the street for months and that Nova Scotia Power acknowledges it needs to be replaced but that it's taken more than six months to do so. – Oct 27, 2020

A Halifax homeowner says he’s frustrated it’s taken more than six months and the threat of going public for Nova Scotia Power to provide him with a date to replace a power pole that’s leaning into his street.

“The poles moving, it’s been continuously moving for the last 15 or 20 years, a little at a time but now it’s gotten to the point where it’s pulling really strong on both our power wires — mine and my neighbours,” said David Sampson, a Halifax resident and Nova Scotia Power customer.

David Sampson
David Sampson feels customers shouldn’t be put into a position where they repeatedly have to call the power utility to have their concerns addressed. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

READ MORE: Some Halifax residents call on Nova Scotia Power to improve preventive maintenance

Sampson says the power pole has been leaning into the street for several years but it wasn’t until this year that it began to place a lot of pressure on lines running to his and his neighbour’s home.

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“The communication lines have been pulled tight enough that they actually started cracking internally,” he said.

Pole replacement
David Sampson snapped this photo of the leaning power pole in need of replacement outside of his home. Submitted: David Sampson

That’s when they both decided to report the concern to Nova Scotia Power. Sampson says crews came in March and staked the pole, telling him it did need to be replaced and that someone would be in touch with a date to do so.

More than six months later, he still hadn’t received a replacement date. All the while, the pole continues to lean.

Sampson says initially he figured the replacement delay may be related to the pandemic but says his frustration mounted when power poles at the bottom of his street were replaced to accommodate a new development site, yet the work was not done to the pole outside his home.

He says he once again ramped up his calls to customer service and was less than pleased with the response he received.

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“They were quite open about telling me that the supervisor wasn’t getting any replies to his emails to the area people,” he said.

Exasperated, he decided to go public with his concerns and says that’s when he finally got the response he’d been waiting for.

“So, yesterday I told them I would be speaking to Global News in the morning, and this morning they got the email from the area person with a date to replace it,” he said.

READ MORE: NS Power’s application for time-of-day tariffs could give residents lower pricing options

Global News’ request for an interview with Nova Scotia Power was declined and referred instead to an email statement:

“If the power pole had been deemed to pose an immediate danger, the situation would have be entered as a priority call and the pole replaced right away,” said spokesperson Jacqueline Foster.

“We sent a crew to look at the power pole in April.  It was determined the pole should be replaced at some point, however it did not pose an immediate danger.  Initial plans were to revisit it in April 2021, however, after a call from the customer earlier this month, the replacement was rescheduled for next week.”

Foster confirmed in the email that the customer was notified of the date on Tuesday morning.

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Sampson says it was never about the pole being an immediate danger, it was about the need for it to be replaced because it continues to pull lines away from his and and his neighbour’s homes.

He says he feels it shouldn’t take more than six months of waiting and follow-up calls for customers to receive answers to a concern like a power pole in need of replacing.

“The consumer still has to keep following up and following up, and basically threatening them with action, to get them to take notice,” he said.