Irene causes travel delays, outages

The high winds from post-tropical storm Irene caused travel restrictions, downed trees and power outages Monday and a wind warning remained in effect for most of the day.
Boaters at the Charlottetown Yacht Club feared the worst for their vessels.

The high winds from post-tropical storm Irene caused travel restrictions, downed trees and power outages Monday and a wind warning remained in effect for most of the day.

High-sided vehicles were not allowed on the the Confederation Bridge and motorcycles were also restricted from crossing. Travel restrictions were lifted later in the day.

The morning Northumberland Ferries crossings from Wood Islands to Caribou and back were cancelled.

There were scattered power disruptions across the Island. The largest outage was in the Wellington West area in the morning. About 6,000 customers were affected when a tree fell on a power line in Richmond. Power was restored within a couple of hours.

Crews were kept busy through most of the day with small outages from West Royalty to Alberton. As of late afternoon Monday, crews were in western P.E.I. working on outages there. About 200 customers were affected.

"There has been some broken poles, some trees on the lines and these have been small individual outages, but they are taking some time to repair," said Maritime Electric spokeswoman Kim Griffin. "But customers have been very good to call us and keep us in the loop where there is outages, so we've been working diligently to try to restore power."

Summerside Electric reported about 500 customers in the city were without power earlier in the day for about two hours. All the power in that city has been restored.

P.E.I. transporation officials were also out on the roads Monday cleaning up fallen trees and broken limbs. There were a few small washouts caused by last night's rain.

Call for better breakwater

Meanwhile, at the Charlottetown Yacht Club, there were anxious moments as owners watched the high winds batter their boats.

Many boats had been removed prior to the storm but there were about 50 that were left in the water, tied to the dock.

No vessels were lost, but there were a few close calls with some minor damage to several boats. One fishing boat was dragged from its moorings in the harbour and smashed against the dock for about an hour.

It's led to renewed calls for a breakwater. Boater Steve Cudmore said it would provide more protection from these types of storms.

"The nature of our dock system is that it's a floating breakwater, so water can still flow underneath it and, you know, any kind of a breakwater that has water that can move around isn't going to be as stable as something that is fixed," said Cudmore. "So, I think that's what we would all benefit from, is a nice fixed breakwater."

Yacht club officials said they have been lobbying for a breakwater for years, not only for the protection of the boats, but also the homes in the waterfront area.

Cudmore said it would require financial help from all three levels of government.