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Outages and Weather

Common Causes of Power Outage

Power outages occur for many reasons and can last from a few seconds to hours or longer.

Below are some examples of the most common causes of power outages in New Brunswick.

Extreme Weather

Most power outages are caused by severe weather – high winds, lightning, freezing rain and snow, rain or flooding. During a storm power poles are vulnerable to lightning strikes while strong winds can snap off tree branches and down power lines. Freezing rain or snow can build up on equipment causing damage.

Vehicle Accidents
Planned Interruptions


Our severe weather conditions in New Brunswick that adversely affect power distribution can be generally categorized into any combination of rain, freezing rain, snow and high winds.


Rain can cause havoc on insulation of high voltage lines by reducing the insulation properties of porcelain bushings, switches, and the pin insulators that attach the lines to the poles.

Insulators play an important role in keeping the flow of electricity moving and not shorting out on structures. Any crack or breakage of an insulator allows water, mostly in the form of rain to cause a failure. This failure interrupts power by blowing a fuse, not unlike the ones found in our fuse panel in our homes.

Freezing Rain
High Winds (90+ kilometres per hour)
Moderate Winds (60 to 90 kilometres per hour)
Severe Cold

2013 Ice Storm

The following Gallery of the 2013 Ice Storm illustrates the effect of weather on power lines.