Seniors complexes should be a priority during power outages, says resident

A Cape Breton senior wants Nova Scotia Power to give seniors' homes a higher priority when it works to restore power.

Nova Scotia Power says seniors’ complex is a priority

A senior in Cape Breton wants Nova Scotia Power to make restoring power to seniors' homes one of its top priorities. Heavy snow caused tree branches and fall onto power lines on the province's east coast. (Nova Scotia Power/Twitter)

Flora Crocker, a resident at the Tillock Drive seniors complex in Sydney, says seniors' homes should be some of the first places to have their power restored during an outage. 

"It's a little bit of a state of a panic, people in their nineties, they panic over storms," said Crocker, 60. 

"They should consider places like this first — if they can — to get the power restored because these are elderly people. They get cold easy and they panic easy."

Thousands of Nova Scotians have been without power since heavy, wet snow took down trees and destroyed power lines on Friday.

Utility says seniors already a priority

Nova Scotia Power says that seniors' homes are already near the top of their priority list. 

"This seniors complex did get priority. We had power restored to them at 1:30 this morning," said Beverly Ware, the spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Power. 

"Because of ongoing issues in the building we again prioritised the complex and we have sent a crew back there."

In contrast, some other areas in the province won't get their power restored until midnight tonight. 

Flora Crocker says some of the more elderly people in her seniors' complex were panicked when the power went out and stayed out all Saturday. (CBC)

Ware said Nova Scotia Power works with Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office and the provincial Health Department. 

When either of those departments identify priority area such as a hospital or seniors' home, the utility works to meet those priorities. 

Saturday in the dark

Crocker said that there are about 90 people in the three buildings that make up the Tillock Drive seniors complex. 

An emergency generator was brought in to power the buildings. It restored heat and turned on two power outlets in the Crocker's building. 

The outlets were too small to power a stove, so she and her friends were scrounging for food.

"We can boil water and use a microwave, but we can't cook. We can't cook anything, so since Friday evening a lot of people have not had a proper meal," Crocker said. 

Saturday night people in the complex got together and ordered a pizza, but Crocker said some of the seniors don't like take out. 

The Cape Breton Island Housing Authority runs the complex. Staff are working with Nova Scotia Power crews to get regular power restored to the building. 

It's expected that electricity should be fully restored to the complex sometime Sunday afternoon. 


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