As 4,000 homes and businesses in Nova Scotia spent their 13th day without power on Thursday, the province’s electric utility admitted it was facing additional challenges repairing damage caused by post-tropical storm Fiona.
Nova Scotia Power Inc. issued a statement saying its work has been complicated by the fact there are now many single-customer outages, which the company said can slow its progress because at least one crew is required to restore power to one customer.
As well, the utility said the remaining work can take longer when heavy equipment is needed to remove trees and debris, and several crews are required to do the work.
In P.E.I., almost 9,000 homes and businesses were still in the dark by Thursday afternoon. “Crews continue to make progress safely restoring power,” Maritime Electric said in a statement. “We currently have over 200 crews working across the province on restoration efforts.”
Meanwhile, the P.E.I. Emergency Measures Organization issued a statement reminding households without power to check all heat-generating appliances to ensure they are switched off.
“As more households are reconnected to the grid, everyone should check their residence for fire risks,” the organization said. “The P.E.I. Fire Marshal’s Office recommends checking that ? stoves, ovens and space heaters are turned off to avoid potential fire hazards.”
Maritime Electric’s website indicated the latest date for restoration of power on the Island was Sunday. The storm first hit the region on Sept. 24.
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As well, emergency officials confirmed that all schools in Charlottetown will reopen Friday.
“When possible, parents are encouraged to walk children to school or their bus stops until they are assured the route is safe,” the province said in a statement released Thursday.
“Parents are also asked to discuss safety with their children.”
In Nova Scotia, most of the remaining outages were reported in the northeastern region, mainly in Pictou and Colchester counties.
“Along with Cape Breton, the northeast region experienced some of the most significant damage as a result of Fiona,” Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Jacqueline Foster said in a statement.
On another front, the utility acknowledged that customers were having trouble finding certified electricians to repair broken meter masts, which are not the responsibility of the utility. More than half of the province’s 2,300 broken masts _ tubes that connects service lines to homes _ can be found in the northeast, the utility said.
“We’re supporting customers who need help finding a certified electrician, so they can have the repairs made, and we can safely restore power,” Lia MacDonald, head of the utility’s northeast emergency operations centre, said in a statement.
The company plans to restore power to the majority of its customers in Cape Breton by Friday, and in the northeast by Sunday.
But some individual outages will take longer to deal with, the company said.
“It is possible there could be individual customers remaining who we will continue to work with one on one, given the extensive damage they’ve experienced,” the company’s statement said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2022.