New Brunswick

'We can go through it': Neguac residents into Day 8 without power

People in the Neguac area continued to pull together Wednesday as hundreds of them pulled through Day 8 without power following last week's major ice storm.

Mayor Georges Savoie says residents and the region are pulling together during ice storm recovery

NB Power crews continued to scramble Wednesday to restore power to people on the Acadian Peninsula, including some in Neguac who are entering Day 8 without electricity. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

People in the Neguac area continued to pull together Wednesday as hundreds of them pulled through Day 8 without power following last week's major ice storm.

"Considering the situation we have, I think things are going great," said Mayor Georges Savoie. "There was a big storm, lots of trees, lots of people lost power, and we have to give [NB Power crews] time."

Nearly 7,000 homes and businesses across the province still had no electricity as of early Wednesday evening, down from a peak of 133,000. The bulk of the outstanding outages, more than 6,000, are on the Acadian Peninsula.

NB Power president and CEO Gaëtan Thomas said he hopes to have the vast majority of customers reconnected by Sunday.

But he acknowledged some may have to wait until next week.

"It's not perfect," said Savoie, whose own household of 10 people went seven days without power before it was restored Tuesday afternoon.

He understands "it's not easy," particularly with temperatures dropping.

"But we can go through it," he said.

Neguac Mayor Georges Savoie says he's been meeting twice a day with representatives of Tabusintac, Fairisle and Alnwick to assess the situation and been in constant communication with NB Power and EMO officials. (Bridget Yard/CBC)
"The firemen, I don't know how many times they went to houses, went around, and they talked to people, even brought food to people. We have a heating centre at the legion. People there are working 24 hours a day. People are working in the kitchen, there's food coming in. People are helping."

And many, said Savoie, are seeing the outages as an opportunity for quality time with family.

In Tabusintac, people like Joan Comeau waited anxiously to catch a glimpse of NB Power crews, hoping they might be next in line for repairs to broken poles and downed lines.

"My brother-in-law said he saw the hydro trucks up the street, so hopefully we'll have some electricity tonight," said Comeau, a widow whose 25-year-old old non-verbal autistic daughter Carole has also been sick all week.

Never seen ice 'like this'

Joan Comeau, right, and her daughter Carole have gone eight days without power and hope to be able to hang on 'for another couple of days' until repair crews get to their Tabusintac home. (Bridget Yard/CBC)
"When I was younger, I saw the power go out for three days tops, but never eight days. And I was born in 1959. I've never seen ice [like this]. Snowstorms, but never ice like this. 

"It's very difficult."

But the family has a wood stove to keep warm, a kerosene lamp for light, and a radio to play music.

"Thank God for that," said Comeau.

Neighbours have also been bringing food, she said.

Asked how long they can hold on, she said, "Hopefully for another couple of days."

Many of the power lines and trees on the Acadian Peninsula remained coated in thick ice on Wednesday. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

With files from Bridget Yard