Just over 9,000 New Brunswickers were still without power at 6:30 Friday evening because of a severe wind storm that pounded much of southern New Brunswick on Thursday afternoon.

Meghan Gerrish, spokesperson for NB Power, said the utility expects the restoration effort to continue overnight Friday and into the weekend.

"We appreciate our customers' patience as we work to restore power," she said.

NB Power was reporting 578 different outages that continued to leave 17,193 customers without power around 11 a.m. Friday morning. There were more than 38,000 NB Power customers affected by power outages on Thursday evening because of the fierce wind storm.

Saint John had a peak wind gust of 111 kilometres per hour, according to CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell.

Thousands of people remained in the dark across southern New Brunswick.  As of 6:30 p.m. Friday there were 3,732 people without power in Rothesay, 3,969 in Sussex , 1,103 in Moncton, 462 people in Fredericton and 314 in Woodstock.

A power shortage caused Ă‰cole Arc-en-ciel in Oromocto to close on Friday.

As well, Brown's Flat School, Lakefield Elementary School and Rothesay Elementary School were all closed because of power outages.

Garden Creek Elementary School in Fredericton closed at 9 a.m. because there was no power in the building.


Thursday's high winds ripped the roof off this dry cleaning company in Moncton. (Jennifer Choi/CBC)

Gerrish said 25 private crews were called to help NB Power's own crews to restore electricity on Friday. The utility is also hoping to get assistance from Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Kim Griffin, a spokesperson for Maritime Electric, said crews from Prince Edward Island are being sent to New Brunswick to help restore power.

"We got the call at midnight last night and they asked us to send as many crews as we possibly send to help them," Griffin said.

"So we felt comfortable that we had enough crews on the island if anything happens today or into the weekend, and we have the four crews going any minute."

The utility is also bringing in outside tree trimming crews to help the clean-up process.

She said NB Power expects it will take until sometime this weekend before service is completely restored across the province.

The wind storm caused at least one flight that was supposed to land in Saint John to be diverted to Moncton on Thursday.

There were other reports from across the province of hydro poles being knocked down.

As well, strong winds tore the roof off a building on the Shediac Road in Moncton. In Saint John, part of the roof of the Latour Terrace apartment building in the city's uptown was ripped off by the winds and landed on a car at the Vito's restaurant parking lot next door.

Environment Canada is no longer reporting any weather warnings in New Brunswick. But the forecast is calling for winds gusting up to 70 km/h in parts of the province.