Tracadie faces food shortage on Day 9 of power outages from ice storm
Provincial government has donated money to food banks, but supplies hard to find
Power is slowly being restored in Tracadie, and town officials expect to lift the state of emergency by Friday, but residents are now dealing with a food shortage and bracing for another possible storm on Monday.
The number of outages in the municipality from last week's major ice storm has been reduced to about 1,060, as of early Thursday, down from the approximately 20,000 NB Power customers without electricity when the mayor declared the state of emergency on Jan. 27.
But even those lucky enough to be reconnected went days without power and lost all the food in their fridges.
Supplies are dwindling, he said.
- On day nine, 4,900 remain without power
- The silent killer: How carbon monoxide creeps into your home
The provincial government has donated $100,000 to food banks in regions hardest hit by the storm, which include Tracadie and the rest of the Acadian Peninsula, where the bulk of the province's remaining 5,000 or so outages are located.
The trouble has been finding food to buy, said St. Pierre, who is also the treasurer of the Association of New Brunswick Food Banks.
"Usually, I go to stores in Tracadie, but I emptied those stores," he said. "So I have to work with people in Miramichi and Caraquet."
On Thursday, he had to be in Bathurst, so he stopped by the Walmart to buy some peanut butter and Cheese Whiz.
Anyone who has non-perishable food items they're willing to donate is urged to drop them off at the food bank, 613 rue Rivière à la Truite, or the warming centre at 520 rue de l'Église, he said.
Those in need are encouraged to call ahead at 606-395-6537, particularly those with young children, because the boxes can be tailored to meet individual needs, such baby formula and diapers.
Volunteers are helping to deliver the boxes to those who can't leave their homes, said St. Pierre.
'Not stopping until everybody is safe'
"It's going pretty well," he said, with ramped-up efforts to deliver food to those in need, warming centres running 24 hours a day and members of the Canadian Armed Forces going door-to-door in some areas.
"We're not stopping until everybody is safe."
Another storm may hit the region on Monday, "so hopefully the system will keep running," said Poirier.
"It all depends what kind of snow."
So far, the Environment Canada's forecast for Monday includes only flurries.
Much of the power infrastructure in the area is still coated with thick ice.
"If it's heavy snow and it sticks to the lines, it will be another challenge," said Poirier.
With files from Bridget Yard