NB Power crews in final push to restore electricity

NB Power is pushing to get the last of its outages restored in southeast New Brunswick by Friday night.

Most in Bouctouche, Shediac should have power restored by Thursday night

Power outage victims take shelter 2:00

NB Power is pushing to get the last of its outages restored in southeast New Brunswick.

As of early Thursday evening, about 900 customers in Bouctouche and Shediac remained without service, down from about 1,700 earlier in the day.

The utility's 109 crews restored service to about 12,000 customers on Wednesday.

Meghan Gerrish of NB Power says everyone in New Brunswick should have their power restored by Friday night. (CBC)
"We had a phenomenal day yesterday," said NB Power's Meghan Gerrish.

"We're in good shape and hopefully the weather co-operates today."

A three-day storm bringing snow and freezing rain to the region early in the week plunged thousands into darkness.

At the peak of the outages on Monday, about 80,000 customers were without service. Southeastern New Brunswick was the hardest-hit region of the province.

NB Power's Deborah Nobes says work is now concentrated in rural areas, where it takes a bit longer to restore power.

"We've got a smaller number of customers connected with each outage and each outage has to be dealt with individually and some of them can take a while to re-connect," said Nobes. "And when you get into rural areas you've got fewer customers connected to each one and it just takes a little bit longer to pick these up."

As of Thursday morning, there were 162 separate outages that affected the 1,500 customers.

Nobes says most customers should have power restored by Thursday night and everyone should be back online by late Friday.

"We are feeling a lot more encouraged than we were [Tuesday] in the depths of that storm," she said.

"We've been able to get out and our crews have been able to have a really good look at the situations that are occurring around the outages.

"With Mother Nature cooperating — finally — we're going to just go at it and make the best progress that we can."

Meanwhile, all of the shelters and warming centres that had been set up are now closed, except for the one at the J.K. Irving Centre in Bouctouche, says Red Cross spokesperson Dan Bedell.