Maritime Electric is making progress in restoring power to Prince Edward Islanders. The lights are back on for thousands, but are also still out for thousands more.

At about 11:30 a.m. Monday the utility had two substations shut down, leaving a total of 8.500 customers without power. Electricity was restored to 3,500 a couple of hours later, leaving 5,000 without power.

Freezing rain has been falling in western parts of the province since early morning, and is forecast to move into eastern P.E.I. early Monday afternoon.

Ice is bringing down power lines, and that is not only leaving people without electricity, it has also prompted RCMP to close highways due to the danger caused by the lines on the road.

The following roads are closed.

  • Route 143 in Forestview
  • Route 12 in Seacow Pond
Woodstock power lines

RCMP are directing traffic around downed power lines on Route 2 in Woodstock. (RCMP)

Police also issued a caution about downed power lines on Route 2 in Woodstock.

Even where lines are not down, RCMP say road conditions are poor.

"Roads are currently still covered with slush and ice, and with the freezing rain coming down they are very slick," said RCMP in a news release.

"Motorists are advised to stay off the roads if they do not need to travel, but if they do need to travel please use extreme caution."

Conditions are expected to get worse. Snow will follow the freezing rain. Prince County is forecast to get 20 centimetres of snow, central areas 10 centimetres and the east five.

Maritime Electric crews only just finished cleaning up after last week's storm.

Schools across the Island were closed for the fourth day in a row. In total, 12 days have been lost due to storm closures.