More than 20,000 Nova Scotians still in the dark 10 days after Fiona, most schools reopen
More than 20,000 Nova Scotians are still without power as restoration efforts continue 10 days after post-tropical storm Fiona.
As of 1 p.m. Monday, there were 5,017 active outages affecting 21,087 Nova Scotia Power customers.
According to the latest map, significant outages continue to be reported in the Pictou County, Truro and Sydney areas. It’s estimated that some customers will not have their power back until 11 p.m. Wednesday.
In a news release issued Monday morning, Nova Scotia Power said more than 1,500 technicians, damage assessors, forestry technicians and field support people are currently on the ground, with most crews working in the northeastern and eastern parts of the province.
The utility adds that while progress is being made, repairs are “multi-layered and complex,” which is why some customers saw their estimated restoration times change Sunday night.
“It’s important to share information with our customers as soon as we can, even when we know the information is hard to hear,” said Lia MacDonald, Nova Scotia Power’s northeast emergency operations centre lead, in the latest release. “Please know that we are working as safely and as quickly as we can to get your power back on.”
The lack of electricity also means a lack of heat for many Nova Scotians as temperatures dropped into the single digits Sunday.
Chris Kaiser says, as temperatures go down, people are starting to hunt for warmer places to stay.
"It was freezing. It was really, really cold," he said. "One of my neighbours messaged me at midnight and said, 'It's too cold in here. I can't stay here.' And he was messaging other people that are on the grid to see if he and his kids could go up there."
The Salvation Army told CTV News on Monday that it continues to serve 3,700 meals a day to people within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
"We're providing upwards of 3,000 meals to people literally right across the region here," said John Murray with the Salvation Army. "As you can see behind me here in Glace Bay, our team is making meals and they'll be distributed on our trucks."
Residents are also doing what they can to support each other. Margaret Jeffries has opened her home for people to charge devices and get a hot cup of tea.
"Never in my life would I have dreamed that we'd be 10 days without power. In some ways, it's been horrific and horrible, but in other ways, it's been kind of good for us," said Jeffries.
Several comfort centres are also open on Monday in the Sydney area:
- Gabarus VFD: Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Glace Bay Miners Forum: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Howie Center VFD: Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Louisbourg VFD: Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (shower facilities available)
- New Waterford VFD: Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sydney Centre 200: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SCHOOLS REOPEN IN NORTHERN NOVA SCOTIA
Monday marks the first day schools in the Chignecto-Central, Strait and Cape Breton-Victoria regional centres for education have reopened since Fiona.
A few schools in the province remain closed Monday due to power outages, including North Queens Community School and Greenfield Elementary on the South Shore, Bouldarderie Elementary and John Bernard Croak Victoria Cross Memorial School in Cape Breton, and North River Elementary, Frank H MacDonald Academy and Salt Springs Elementary in central Nova Scotia.
Cape Breton University has also reopened for regularly scheduled classes. The Nova Scotia Community College says all campuses and sites, including those in Truro and Sydney, will reopen Monday as well.
Most schools on P.E.I. have also reopened after a week-long closure.
Nova Scotia says most provincial government offices will reopen Monday, but local power outages could prevent a “small number” from reopening.
About 415,000 people lost power during post-tropical storm Fiona, according to Nova Scotia Power.
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