More than 400,000 Maritimos are still without electricity after the passage of Fiona

Strong winds and heavy rain from Fiona have left nearly 500,000 Maritimes without power, as of midnight on Sunday.

The powerful post-tropical storm, which saw wind gusts of up to 141km/h in Sydney and estimates of more than 200mm of rain, continues to make its way across the Atlantic region on Saturday afternoon.

NEW SCOTLAND

As of midnight Sunday, 292,439 customers were without power in Nova Scotia. More than half of those outages are reported in central Nova Scotia. Cape Breton Island is experiencing more than 65,000 outages.

The number of customers experiencing power outages in the province is on the decline after Nova Scotia Power reported more than 400,000 customers in the dark as of 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Nova Scotia Power says crews began restorations in the western region of the province overnight once wind speeds fell below 50 mph.

The utility company says its first priority is keeping customers and crews safe.

“We are seeing significant damage as Fiona moves through the province and it is important to remember that it is not over yet. Our crews will restore power as quickly as possible, once it is safe to do so,” said NS Power President and CEO Peter Gregg.

More than 800 crew members, including power line technicians, forestry technicians and damage assessors, have been dispatched across the province, with hundreds more such as engineers, dispatchers and customer service representatives working behind the scenes.

In an update at 2:30, Gregg said crews remain busy across the province, despite weather conditions still impeding their skills.

“In many areas, the weather conditions are still too dangerous for crews to get on our bucket trucks. With 50+ mph winds, it’s not safe for them to be out there, but I want to assure them you’re still busy.” said Gregg. “We have a lot of crews removing wires from cars and roads and responding to 911 calls, and we continue to assess the damage and do everything we can to be ready to go when the winds drop to allow our crews to get there safely.”

Gregg said that as of 2:30 pm Saturday, crews had already restored power to more than 60,000 customers.

NEW BRUNSWICK

As of midnight Sunday, 25,467 customers in New Brunswick were without power.

In an interview with CTV Atlantic, a representative from NB Power noted that estimated restoration times currently run through Sunday night.

“Outages continue to be reported as the weather system works its way through New Brunswick, so we expect more outages throughout the day,” the representative said, adding that while crews are active in every district, the southeast of the province is the hardest hit.

According to NB Power, more than 79,000 customers in the province have been without power since storm conditions began on Friday night.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

As of 11 pm, more than 82,000 customers were without power on Prince Edward Island.

In a PEI EMO update on Saturday afternoon, officials noted that the recovery response will be “multi-million dollar.”

“In the last 12 hours, our province has experienced historic weather conditions caused by Hurricane Fiona,” Premier Dennis King said. “It has been, to state the obvious, a whole day. And while we hope the worst is behind us, so far we know the storm is not over.”

While more than 95 percent of the islanders remain without power, storm crews can’t begin restoring power until winds drop below 50 mph.

“There is significant damage to public infrastructure across the province and while we haven’t even been able to begin to fully assess the damage caused by Fiona, we know it’s devastating,” King said.

Officials say there have been no reports of significant storm-related injuries or deaths.

Fiona brought winds of more than 170 km/h and storm surges of more than two meters to Prince Edward Island, causing downed power lines and flooding.

“Based on early accounts, the devastation appears to be beyond anything we have witnessed before on Prince Edward Island,” King said, adding that the road to recovery for the province will be “weeks or more.”

Around 7 p.m. Saturday, Charlottetown police tweeted a warning about traveling on the highways, writing, “the number of people on the highways is absurd.”

“If you are out for reasons other than an emergency or to get to your job as an essential worker, you are impeding cleanup and the passage of emergency vehicles,” they added.

Leave a Comment