Life without power 'starting to get frustrating' for these P.E.I. dairy farmers

Some dairy farmers on P.E.I. are working to ensure the daily chores are getting done, even as they are going through four days and counting without power.

'The cows don't know that the power is out and they're not going to either'

There are many electrical devices like fans, robotic feed pushers and milking equipment that need to be in operation on a daily basis at a dairy farm. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Some farmers on P.E.I. have had to get creative as they have been without power for days after post-tropical storm Dorian.

"The cows are just living their life so we have to keep everything as consistent as possible with them, that way the milk production stays the same," said Cole Noonan with Karma Farms.

He lost power on his Albany farm during Saturday's storm and it hadn't come back as of Wednesday afternoon.

"The days have been busy," he said. "Sunday morning was the worst. We had quite a bit of damage to our corn crops and some damage to the barn and some missing calf hutches and stuff too."

Noonan has 80 head of cattle on the farm, including 60 milking cows.

Cole Noonan, with Karma Farms near Albany, says he hasn't had power since Saturday. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

He hooked up a power take-off generator to work in conjunction with his tractor and it has run steadily since Saturday.

"We need constant power for the everyday chores, milking and what-not, run the water bowls, barn fans, robotic feed pushers and stuff," Noonan said.

Noonan said he believes a tree that fell onto a power line on his neighbour's property caused the outage in the area.

His property, along with all the homes along the old Trans-Canada Highway in Albany, have been without power since the storm.

Noonan says he has hooked up a power take-off generator directly to the driveshaft of the tractor's engine to keep power going in the barn. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

One neighbour who has been in the dark for several days is his uncle, Wayne Noonan.

"It's starting to get frustrating just because it's an easy fix," he said. "It's hard when there's lights all around you at night and you don't have none."

Maritime Electric had more than 9,000 customers without power as of 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

According to the website, Albany in the western district of P.E.I. was one of the areas they were focusing on with 73 crews across the province.

Cole Noonan says the cows don't know that the farm's power is out and he plans to keep it that way. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Cole Noonan said the tree has been reported and a Maritime Electric vehicle came out to survey the area.

He estimates that he has spent more than $1,000 on fuel for the generator so far and will continue as long as he has to.

"The cows don't know that the power is out and they're not going to either."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Tom Steepe


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