Some N.B. residents still without power nearly two weeks after ice storm
Nearly two weeks after freezing rain started to fall in southern New Brunswick, the final power restorations are underway.
Lake Didgequash resident Brian Leavitt is among a handful of homeowners still without electricity after the ice storm. He says his generator has been going full blast since the storm.
“We are at the end of a road and I do understand that,” says Leavitt. “We were told we were going to get (power) earlier, but I assumed we wouldn’t. I know the surroundings around here and the ice. I knew it was going to be a while.”
Leavitt’s home might be the last to get power back. He has been without electricity for 12 days.
The power outage has been causing problems for Cory Cook of Johnson Settlement, who has been without electricity for ten days.
“As soon as I turned the heat back on, the old pipes started busting on me, so that’s another problem I’m going to have to take care of, but the main thing, I got heat,” says Cook.
At the storm’s peak, nearly 54,000 NB Power customers lost their electricity. With service restored to most homes, the Canadian Red Cross has closed a series of warming shelters that were set up throughout southern New Brunswick.
“We have some people that were getting to the hypothermic stage. They’re in their homes trying to salvage what they can, trying to keep their pipes from freezing,” says Liberal MLA Rick Doucet.
Doucet describes the government response as a “disaster” and says more help should have been brought in.
“I said, at the onset of this, that the Armed Forces should have been brought in and I think it was absolutely needed here,” says Doucet.
However, the government has said that the Canadian Forces was not appropriate to do the specialized work of clearing and reenergizing power lines.
While some residents are still waiting for the lights to come back on, power has been restored to most homes and businesses. According to the NB Power website, only 78 customers were without electricity as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron