Arthur's damage revives memories of December's ice storm
Kingston Peninsula residents cope with another major blackout
Some residents on the Kingston Peninsula were cleaning up after post-tropical storm Arthur on Monday and that was bringing back memories from December when they were also hit hard by the ice storm.
NB Power crews fanned out across the province on Monday as the utility tried to reconnect tens of thousands of customers who lost power during Saturday’s post-tropical storm that brought heavy rain and high winds to the area.
On the Kingston Peninsula in southern New Brunswick, power lines were sagging under the weight of trees that were knocked over by the strong winds.
Melanie Hatfield spent the day cleaning up her property from all of the debris that fell on the weekend. She was still waiting for NB Power crews to restore her electricity on Monday afternoon.
"They were saying Wednesday or Thursday, and I'm really hoping it's sooner than that," she said.
Gaëtan Thomas, the president and chief executive officer of NB Power, said on Monday the utility is aiming to have power back on for 80 per cent of its customers within five days. The remaining 20 per cent should have their power back on by the weekend.
Hatfield is one of many residents in southern New Brunswick who also lost power for several days in December.
Hatfield spent six days in the dark because of the ice storm in December.
"That time, the first couple days were something like an adventure, but this time, when the power went out, I just said to myself, ‘Oh no, not again,'" she said.
During the December ice storm, the number of customers without power at any one time peaked at 54,000. Over the course of those 11 days, 88,000 NB Power customers were affected.
On Saturday, the peak number of customers who were out of power hit 140,000.
NB Power has described post-tropical storm Arthur as being responsible for the largest blackout in the province’s history.
Paul Snodgrass lost his electricity for nine days in December and he’s not sure when his power will come back on after Saturday’s storm
Snodgrass said the latest storm has him thinking about ways to prevent future outages.
"We only see these kinds of storm on television, but now they're starting to hit home. Climate change, I think, is starting to bring us all about," he said.
Energy Minister Craig Leonard has also discussed how New Brunswickers need to be better prepared in the future as these harsh storms will become more common.
"I believe this is something that we can expect, and the events we've seen since the New Year could very well be our new normal," Leonard said on Sunday.