Newfoundland businesses, residents slowly return to normal

Most people in Newfoundland are gradually getting back to normal after several tough days of wild weather and unplanned power outages, but for some businesses and residents it may take much longer.
A busted sprinkler and damaged electrical system is keeping the Village Shopping Centre in St. John's closed. (CBC)

Most people on the island are slowly getting back to normal after several tough days of wild weather and unplanned power outages, but for some businesses and residents it may take much longer.

On Sunday, a power outage meant a sprinkler pipe froze and then burst, forcing the evacuation of 20 units at Kelly's Brook Apartments in St. John's.

Marian Parsons is a tenant at Kelly's Brook Apartments. (CBC)

"I didn't know whether to laugh or cry — but it was basically to cry," said Marina Parsons, a resident at Kelly's Brook Apartments.

"Not just trickling, it [was] coming down like you're under the shower and your bed. You're just getting out of your bed and all of a sudden you're soaked."

Parsons said she has no insurance, and would like to see government cover the cost of the damage.

"Because I'm a widow and as such there isn't much. You're on a pension. I don't have immediate family here. My immediate sons are living in B.C. so, of course, yes."  

Jane Morgan of Nuport Holdings, the company that manages the apartment building, said after the initial shock on the weekend, most tenants were fine.

Jane Morgan is with Nuport Holdings, which manages Kelly's Brook Apartments in St. John's. (CBC)
"There was one tenant who the Red Cross put up, because she didn't have insurance and she didn't have anywhere else to go. But everyone else either had insurance or were able to rely on family members," Morgan said.

Crews have nearly completed repairs, and most tenants are expected to be back in their apartments on Wednesday.

Village Shopping Centre closure continues

Recovery will take much longer at the Village Shopping Centre in St. John's, which has been closed since Saturday.

Sources told CBC that a sprinkler broke over the weekend, severely damaging the mall's electrical system.

A statement from mall management said they understand the effect the closure is having on employees and customers, and repairs are being made as quickly as possible.   

St. John's-based newspaper The Telegram is a Village tenant, and their office has been temporarily closed.

"Apparently there was a flood over the main electrical box in the Village, so while our offices are okay, the Village is not, and it's going to be at least Friday before we get back in," said Tara Bradbury, a Telegram reporter. 

"So we've been writing from home. We've been writing from our cars, you know, when we didn't have power. So it's been challenging, we're making it happen. We're you know, delivering the news."

It is unknown when the Village Shopping Centre will reopen.


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