New Brunswick is asking its residents to be prepared and have an emergency kit and storm plan in place after a series of storms have left tens of thousands without power — sometimes for days.
On Friday, heavy rains and high winds left nearly 60,000 people in New Brunswick in the dark. Some were unable to turn their lights back on until Sunday evening.
“It was as big an event as Dorian was for us a few weeks ago,” said Lori Clark, senior vice president of operations with NB Power.
The remnants of hurricane Dorian pummelled the Maritimes in early September, causing trees to be uprooted and cutting power to thousands.
In New Brunswick, this type of weather event is becoming more common.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs until the end of November, and it won’t be long before snowy nor’easters hit the region.
“Our infrastructure is strong,” said Clark. “But when we have high winds, with the number of trees we have in the province of New Brunswick, and so the trees make contact with the (power) lines and take the lines down or fall on the line and cause an outage.”
As a result of the recent storms, NB Power has partnered with the province in naming this week Storm Preparedness Week.
It is encouraging residents to have a plan and put together an emergency kit.
“It’s not hard to make a plan,” said Greg MacCallum, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization.
“It’s not hard to gather up those things that you need to make sure you stay comfortable, whether it’s for a few hours or up to a couple of days.”
Environment Canada has forecast the upcoming winter in New Brunswick to be a long one with higher than average snowfall and below-average temperatures.
Officials are reminding people that taking a few minutes to prepare can save a lot of stress, or even a life.