Nearly 24,000 customers in P.E.I., Nova Scotia still without power 11 days after Fiona
Close to 24,000 Maritimers are still without power 11 days after post-tropical storm Fiona hit the region.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, there were 3,157 active outages affecting 12,249 Nova Scotia Power customers, with most outages reported in the Pictou County, Cape Breton, and Truro areas.
Some estimated restoration times in Sydney, N.S., have been extended to 11 p.m. Thursday, while others in the Truro and Pictou County areas say 11 p.m. Saturday -- two weeks after the storm.
In its latest news release, Nova Scotia Power says customers with Sunday restoration times will be receiving a call directly from the utility’s customer care team to discuss their situation.
“We understand losing power impacts every part of your life,” said Lia MacDonald, the utility’s northeast emergency operations centre lead, in the release. “We also appreciate we’re heading into Thanksgiving weekend, which is typically filled with family gatherings. I want customers to know we are doing everything we can to get your power back safely and as soon as possible.”
Nova Scotia Power says most of the remaining outages impact one customer each and that they are complex restorations requiring “several crews and several hours to complete.”
As of Tuesday, approximately 97 per cent of Nova Scotians impacted by Fiona had their power restored.
All Nova Scotia schools that has been closed due to power outages have also reopened.
The following comfort centres in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality are open Tuesday:
- Glace Bay Miners Forum: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Gabarus VFD: Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Louisbourg VFD: Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (shower facilities available)
- Sydney Centre 200: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
On Prince Edward Island, there were 11,526 Maritime Electric customers without power Tuesday afternoon, with the largest outages reported in the Charlottetown and Stratford areas. The utility predicts the power won't be fully restored until Sunday.
During a news conference Monday, spokesperson Kim Griffin said severe damage to power infrastructure is delaying restoration times, in some cases, because crews have to rebuild power poles instead of reconnecting wires.
“Where the real damage occurred was the thousands of trees that had come down on our distribution lines, particularly with our polls, in the 800 or 900 range, and we have to rebuild all of that to get to those sections," said Kim Griffin with Maritime Electric.
“They’re saying on average they’re taking two, two-and-a-half times longer, from a restoration perspective, longer than they took during Hurricane Dorian, for example.”
Those living without power are also facing dropping temperatures.
“Temperatures this morning, driving into work, it was five degrees with heavy frost, so we’re really reaching to municipalities. We’re encouraging them to keep their reception centres open as long as they are indicating they have need within their community,” said Tanya Mullally, the director of P.E.I. EMO.
In its latest press release, the P.E.I. government said Tuesday that crews are making more “community-level progress” with power restoration across the island.
Several schools on the island remained closed Tuesday. Students at Cardigan Consolidated will return to class Wednesday in a temporary location in Montague Regional High School.
Classes for École Évangéline students will move to L'Exposition Agricole et le Festival Acadien grounds, but a start date has not been announced.
Donagh Regional, Prince Street Elementary, Queen Charlotte Intermediate, St. Jean Elementary and West Kent schools are still closed.
The City of Charlottetown says the Hillsborough Park Community Centre will be open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone in need of a comfort centre. The P.E.I. government has also compiled a list of about 30 reception centres open across the island.
Any resident needing temporary emergency shelter can call 211 or the Shelter Support Line directly at 1-833-220-4722.
Charlottetown residents can also seek temporary disaster shelter at the Murchison Centre.
More information was posted online Tuesday on upcoming disposal schedules and waste drop-off operating hours.
The province says the removal of debris from personal property won’t start until the demand for road clearing and clean-up efforts is reduced.
Islanders can begin submitting their applications to the Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Program for any uninsurable losses. People who can’t complete the online self-assessment tool can call the Canadian Red Cross at 1-833-966-4225. Households affected financially by Fiona can also apply to the Canadian Red Cross for $250 per household in financial support.
Seniors age 65 and older who have been impacted by the storm can now apply for a one-time $100 grocery voucher. Seniors registered with the Seniors Independence Initiative will receive $150 for each household.
Islanders on social assistance will receive $150 for each social housing household. They’ll also receive $150 for each social program recipient and dependent.
This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly stated close to 15,000 customers were without power.
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