FREDERICTON – The province’s energy utility says they’re aiming to have power back on for 90 per cent of their customers by Friday, 95 per cent by Sunday and 99 per cent by Tuesday.
The final one per cent are seasonal properties with structural damages like electrical mast or damages to the utility’s infrastructure “requiring extraordinary effort that will have to be done after the larger restoration effort is completed,” said an NB Power spokeswoman.
NB Power’s CEO says there’s more crews on the ground in New Brunswick than ever before. Over 310 crews are working to restore power, which is more than the utility says reacted to the ice storm in 1998 and the last one in December and January.
Gaëtan Thomas says there are things NB Power has learned from post-tropical storm Arthur, including their communication system.
“The system was not designed for the enormity of this massive restoration for this storm. We’ve had issues before and we have committed before the storm to have the system fixed by the fall. So we’re working on that. That’s one of the more important elements so we can better communicate with our customers,” Thomas said.
By Thursday evening, 25,000 customers were still without power. Just over 16,000 of those were in the Fredericton area.
Arthur brought high winds and heavy rains which toppled trees, and downed power lines knocking out power to more than 250,000 homes and businesses at the height of Saturday’s storm.
In Fredericton, city workers estimate over 4,000 trees have been damaged or destroyed by Arthur’s impact.
The storm, which was downgraded from a hurricane, dumped more than 140-millimetres of rain on parts of New Brunswick, according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre.