Sleet storm damages powertelephone lines: 1949
Reports from March 17, 1949:
More than 400 telephones in the Springhill Telephone Exchange were damaged and over 100 poles were done following the sleet storm Friday and Saturday which totally disrupted long distance services and put nearly half the local telephones out of order. It is expected that temporary repairs will get the whole system back into operation by Saturday night, according to a statement given to the Record by Mr. Clyde Dickie who is in charge of the local system.
Toll Lines Working
Five construction crews and two capable crews were rushed to Springhill from Halifax, New Glasgow and Truro, and by Sunday the toll lines were working again after temporary repairs had been affected. The crews working on the toll lines experience great difficulty in working on the Westchester Mountain and at Windham where the roads had drifted in and the services of the government snowplow had to be secured before repairs could be carried out. The linesmen, however, were pleased with the Cooperation given them by the Highway Department in opening the roads.
The Local Situation
The local service is still badly disrupted, but it is expected that service will be fully resumed by Saturday evening. Over 1000 feet of cable had to be replaced on Victoria Street. On top of the hills the poles went down like nine pins under the terrific load of ice. Fallen trees added to the strain of the wires and poles and caused a great deal of damage.
On the Herrett Road citizens reported tearing their phones from the wall as fire broke out in the coil due to the power lines fouling the telephone wires. While this situation is dangerous, Mr. Dickie felt that as soon as the coil burned out, giving off clouds out smoke and a strong odor, the danger had passed.
Among the Company officials who were in Springhill during the week were Mr. G. Starrett, General Plant Manager, Halifax; Mr. S. Fredericks, General Superintendent of Maintenance for Nova Scotia; M.L. Woodside, District Plant Superintendent; John Boyd, Section Foreman, section foreman, remained in Springhill to supervise the work.
Power Lines Down
The power lines also suffered severe damage during the sleet storm and Manager Wm. Pippy told the Record that about a dozen poles were down in the town and about 20 in the rural districts of Leicester and Windham. Falling trees added greatly to the breaking of the lines. Service, said Mr. Pippy was quite normal again by Sunday evening, and it was expected that street lighting would be fully resumed by today in all sections.
Extra Crews Here
Two extra crews were rushed to Springhill to help cope with the storm. One large construction crew is still here but it was expected their work would be completed by today or Friday.
Commenting on the storm, Mr. Pippy expressed the opinion that the damage to the local system would cost between three and five thousand dollars. He felt it was the worst sleet storm he had experienced since coming to Springhill in 1947. His first experience was on May 1st, 1947, the after he took over his duties here, when a sleet storm tied up the town. He spoke highly of the manner in which his men carried out repairs under difficult conditions, working twelve hours a day and continuing through Sunday without a let up until service was resumed throughout the town.
Apr. 23, 1949 – Ira Mills’ Boat Reported Safe
Many friends and relatives in Springhill and vicinity were very relieved when word came to Springhill, Friday afternoon, that the small fishing boat in which Cecil York and Ira Mills were crew men was sighted in Minas Basin after being reported being lost. The boys left Harrington River early Thursday morning and didn’t return when expected. A search party was started early Friday morning and their boat was spotted by an R.C.A.F. plane. Engine trouble and off-shore winds had prevented the boat from making shore.
Ira is well known in Springhill being the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Mills, Valley Road. Although being very cold, wet and hungry after their unexpected long stay at sea the men were none the worse for their experience.