Nova Scotia communities open warming centres amid widespread power outages

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality and a group in Sheet Harbour have opened comfort centres to offer refuge for people still waiting to have their electricity restored.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality and a group in Sheet Harbour have opened fire halls, community centres

Nova Scotia Power says heavy snow is creating challenges as crews work to restore electricity to communities. (Submitted by Bev Ware)

Communities in Nova Scotia where thousands have been without electricity since Friday evening are opening up community centres to warm those waiting for electricity.

​Officials with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality opened warming stations at the volunteer fire stations in Glace Bay, Scotchtown, and Southside Boularderie Sunday afternoon for people still waiting for electricity.  

Jocelyn Bethune, communications officer for Victoria County, says a comfort centre at the Ross Ferry Fire Hall would be open from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

"It's a place where residents can get warmed up, get some hot beverages and it's also a charging centre. Phone service has been out in this area since Friday evening," said Bethune.

'Everyone helps each other'

The Sheet Harbour Lion's Centre also opened as a warming centre Sunday afternoon. 

Larry Horton, a member of the community's joint emergency group, says so far no one has stopped by but there's tea, coffee and most importantly, heat. 

Horton says people have been checking in with community members and many people are staying with family and friends. 

"There's a lot of hardships because a lot of people don't have heat but in a rural community like this, people do share the resources and because we are rural there's a lot of people who have wood stoves," Horton said.

"Everybody helps each other. We plow out neighbours. We help neighbours. We'll do whatever is necessary to help people get through a situation like this."

Several comfort centres opened Saturday evening and a family of four sought refuge at one in Scotchtown.

Stations that opened up in Albert Bridge, Louisbourg, Florence, Sydney River and Glace Bay were unused Saturday night.


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