Storm Arthur: The aftermath in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Power says it has 40 crews working on restoring power to the Digby and Clare areas, some of the worst storm-struck sections of the province.

Crews restoring power, people assessing damage from storm

The CBC's Colleen Jones finds out what the storm did to the trees in Yarmouth. 0:50

Latest

  • Tens of thousands without power
  • Crops damaged in storm
  • Internet service down for many
  • Help station set up in Bridgewater

Nova Scotia Power says it has 40 crews working on restoring power to the Digby and Clare areas, some of the worst storm-struck sections of the province.

Neera Ritcey, a spokeswoman for the utility, said the western region sustained the most extensive damage because of post-tropical storm Arthur.

"We saw, for example in the western region, winds of up to 139, 140 km/h that ended up causing significant damage to some of our transmission lines, so that is where a lot of our effort is focused," she said.

Arthur landed in the Meteghan area on Saturday morning as a strong post-tropical storm. It moved northeast through the province throughout the day, bringing high winds.

As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, there were about 77,000 customers without power, down from a high of 140,000 late Saturday.

In the Clare and Digby areas, people might not get their electricity back until 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

That's the latest reconnection time, according to Nova Scotia Power.

Hunt for generators

"People are scrambling to find generators," said Dan Robichaud, owner of two hardware stores in the area.

Robichaud says the storm toppled many large trees, and some are blocking secondary roads. He says there are trees in yards and even on houses, as well as downed power lines.

"I'm a Juan survivor. I lived in Halifax during Hurricane Juan, and the devastation in this community is absolutely on par today with what Hurricane Juan left in Halifax in 2003," he said.

Robichaud says there are "impressive" lineups for gas at the few stations in the area.

Nova Scotia Power says it has a total of 200 crews out around the province, including those working on trees.

Farmers checking crops

Many farmers are checking their crops and struggling to keep operations going until the power is back.

At Elmridge Farm in Centreville, workers are rotating harvested berries and perishables through the cooler.

"Right now the situation we have is our backup generator will only run about half the farm," said co-owner Greg Gerrits.

Elmridge is a diversified farm with other crops. But Gerrits said the storm left the bean crop looking "mangled," which could mean a setback.

"The question is how bad is the damage," he said. "There might be a crop, but if it's not perfect in this society it doesn't sell."

No internet

In addition to power outages, many people are also without phone, internet or cable TV.

Bell Aliant says 8,000 customers in Nova Scotia are without service because of the storm. 

"Our facilities operate on commercial power and when that is lost, our equipment continues to operate on battery backup. As those batteries deplete, the number of customers without service increases," a spokeswoman said in a statement to CBC News.

"Full restoration of service requires the restoration of commercial power."

Some EastLink customers are also affected, but the company has not provided details.

Help station

Meanwhile, the Red Cross has set up a help station in Bridgewater. Anyone who needs water or a place to charge their phones can go to the Medical Arts Building on Glen Allan Drive.

That service is available until 4 p.m. Sunday.

Around the province:

  • Several roads are closed in Kings County because of downed trees and power lines.
  • Seal Island bridge is open again.
  • Tancook and LaHave ferries are back in service.
  • Marine Atlantic ferry service has resumed.

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