'We're still very much in the middle of this event': Mayor tells Miramichi to be patient
Miramichi was hard hit by the ice storm, and it could be another day or two until power is back on
Many people in New Brunswick spent a third night in a row without power, including some 11,000 in the Miramichi region, as the province still tries to recover from the second worst storm in its history.
Doris McKinnon was one of them.
The 89-year-old first came to one of the two Miramichi warming centres on Tuesday night after losing electricity.
''I couldn't believe it,'' said McKinnon. ''It's just a real catastrophe.''
McKinnon has been sleeping in a chair at the warming centre since Tuesday, and thinks she might have to stay there until the weekend.
The city has set up two warming centres, open 24 hours a day. The longer people are without power, the more are expected to come for warmth, food or a hot shower.
Another day or two
Adam Lordon, mayor of Miramichi, held a press conference on Thursday to update people on recovery efforts.
He said those still without power on Thursday and Friday nights, might have to wait another day or two.
''For some it will be some time before things go back to normal,'' said Lordon. ''It is important to remind everybody that we are still vey much in the middle of this event.''
Lordon said crews have been working around the clock to restore power, even getting help from Nova Scotia, Maine and Quebec, but the work has been very challenging.
''It's not hard to tell if you drive around the community, there are trees and branches all over the place including all over the power lines.''
Lordon said residents will need to arm themselves with a little bit of patience.
''A lot of the wires that are damaged are the wires to people's homes, and on residential streets. So unfortunately rather than being able to get people back by the thousands and hundreds, we're talking by the ones and the tens.''
The city said, as long as people are without electricity, they'll continue to offer free dinners at both warming centres.
''Things like this happen here in the river, people come together,'' said Brian King, deputy mayor of Miramichi.
''The real inspiring story that I've seen around the province though is how many people are stepping up to volunteer,'' said Premier Brian Gallant, who passed through Miramichi on Thursday.
Once power is restored, Lordon said it could take up to a week to clean up all the broken trees and branches.
At that point, he said, public works will be able to help residents remove debris from their backyards, but for the time being, recovery efforts are being executed on a priority basis.