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Intense storm knocks out power, prompts school closures across the Maritimes


Tens of thousands of Maritimers were without power Monday and a number of schools were closed in all three provinces after an intense storm brought high winds and heavy rain to the region.

At the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, a peak gust was recorded at 92 kilometres per hour, and the wind was even stronger in parts of Cape Breton, with gusts reaching 107 km/h at the Eskasoni First Nation and 103 km/h at Grand Etang.

Environment Canada had lifted all warnings in the Maritimes Monday afternoon -- a relief for residents of Cape Breton, where many properties still need to be repaired from September’s post-tropical storm Fiona.

“What I’ve got here on Ninth Street is a home that just had a new roof put on by the Mennonites, worth $30,000, and there’s water coming through from the vacant side,” said Cape Breton Regional Municipality Coun. Darren Bruckswaiger.

Sean Borden, storm lead at Nova Scotia Power, confirmed to CTV Atlantic roughly 86,000 customers experienced power outages related to the latest storm system.

In Glace Bay, there are still homes without a roof. Others are still undergoing repairs from Fiona’s fury.

“We have a lot of temporary roofs out there today, and not everything is holding as true as we would like it to hold, so we have water leaking into homes causing a mess, and it’s also causing a great deal of stress for the homeowners,” said Lynne McCarron of United Way Cape Breton.

McCarron says, with each passing storm, it’s hard to get ahead on completing repairs.

“It does feel a bit like one step forward and two steps back,” she said. “We are very lucky to have the Mennonites here doing the work, so it could be far worse if we didn’t have them here.”

McCarron added it will be another day before workers can assess the damage done by this latest blast from mother nature.


About 7,800 Nova Scotia Power customers were off the grid as of 6:40 p.m. Thursday. That number was down from 86,000 outages early Thursday morning.

Nova Scotia Power activated its emergency operations centre at 8 a.m. The utility says crews are working to restore power, noting some areas experienced winds over 100 kilometres per hour.

“Our crews have been in the field overnight restoring power to those impacted by the high winds and rain,” said Sean Borden, Nova Scotia Power’s storm lead, in a statement.

“We have over 300 field workers restoring power for customers across the province.”

The utility says the strong winds may slow down restoration efforts, as crews will stop working when winds reach 80 kilometres per hour as a safety precaution.

Nova Scotia Power customers can check the outage map for updates and estimated restoration times. Customers who don’t see their area on the outage map can report it online or by calling 1-877-428-6004.

NB Power was reporting scattered outages affecting roughly 2,700 customers in New Brunswick as of 6:40 p.m., with most outages recorded in the Moncton, Fredericton and St. Stephen areas. That number was down from 7,000 customers just before 9 a.m.

“Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore impacted customers,” NB Power tweeted Thursday morning. “We will keep you informed as we know more and appreciate your patience.”

Maritime Electric was reporting outages affecting 56 customers on Prince Edward Island as of 6:40 p.m., down from 8,000 customers just before 9 a.m. Thursday.

“We are experiencing scattered outages in various communities this morning,” tweeted Maritime Electric. “Crews are out working to restore power.”


The power outages prompted school closures in all three provinces Thursday.

In Nova Scotia, all schools are closed in the Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education. There are some school closures in all other regional centres for education, except for Tri-County, where all schools remain open.

In New Brunswick, some schools are closed in the Anglophone West, South and East school districts.

Public schools on Prince Edward Island delayed opening by one hour Thursday morning. Three schools -- Englewood, Mount Stewart Consolidated and Donagh Regional -- remain closed for the day due to power outages.

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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