Power outages in Cape Breton could linger until Monday
Slow progress blamed on damaged poles and equipment
Nova Scotia Power says some customers might not get their power back until Monday as crews work to restore electricity to hundreds of homes and businesses in Cape Breton after this week's wind and ice storm.
"A lot of the customers that continue to be without power actually are in remote areas where access and travel conditions have just been really poor. So that has certainly be a big part of the challenge," said spokeswoman Neera Ritcey.
Some customers have been without power since Monday morning. At the height of the storm more than 11,000 customers had their power knocked out.
"It's really caused hardship for a lot of our customers that are still off," said Ritcey.
She said fallen trees and branches have damaged utility poles and the destruction is much more extensive than they first thought.
"Where you sometimes have calls for damaged poles and you can go and repair the poles, in some cases the poles are beyond repair, equipment has been blown off," Ritcey said. "Spans and spans of trees on lines, multiple damaged structures, including transformers blown from power poles, broken poles."
The utility has managed to restore power to most of the customers that suffered outages this week. The areas still affected include Mira, Louisbourg, Gabarus and Catalone.
Ritcey said the utility is focusing on getting the largest number of customers back on first and then they'll fix the smaller trouble areas.
"I want customers to be prepared that it may take up to Monday," she said.
Ritcey said they have about 51 line crews and about 15 tree crews working on the problems.
"It is all hands on deck. And even then, it's been a very difficult situation to fully get control on," she said.
Cape Breton was battered by heavy snow and wind gusts earlier this week. It knocked out power to thousands, closed businesses and schools and clogged some streets and sidewalks with more than 60 centimetres of snow.