P.E.I. public schools cancelled on Monday amid widespread power outages

P.E.I.'s French Language School Board and the P.E.I. Public Schools Branch have cancelled classes on Monday because of continued power outages and road closures across the Island following Hurricane Dorian.

Maritime Electric spokesperson says it could take a couple of days before power is fully restored

A house reduced to rubble in P.E.I.'s North Shore. (Peggy Clinton)

P.E.I.'s French Language School Board and the P.E.I. Public Schools Branch have cancelled classes on Monday because of continued power outages and road closures across the Island following Hurricane Dorian.

UPEI is expected to operate as scheduled. The campus didn't experience a power outage over the weekend, officials said. 

Holland College will delay its opening until noon on Monday, with an announcement about afternoon classes at 10:30 a.m., officials said. 

With downed trees and power lines covering parts of P.E.I. roads, more than 50,000 Islanders are without power early Sunday evening.

The province has also announced government offices and administrative offices will be closed until noon on Monday with an update on afternoon operations at 10:30 a.m. The province is also warning Islanders they may experience complications in accessing government services online due to technical difficulties related to power outages from the storm. 

Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin said there hasn't been much headway on power restoration, despite having 40 crews deployed at 7 a.m. Sunday. The utility enlisted the help of five relief crews from Fortis, Ont., to conduct the work. 

Griffin said the damage has been "significant." 

"We had some wind restrictions on P.E.I., so as soon as we got the flight plan ready to go when the wind restrictions were lifted, we got the helicopter up," she said.

The helicopter has been used to assess the scope of damage.

A devastated 115-year-old barn on Burlington Road, just outside of Kensington, P.E.I. (Jason Mann/Facebook)

"There's areas we're still finding with poles down and there's trees on the lines. So we had, this morning, five, eight, 10 poles," she said. "Now, we're in the vicinity of 25."

Griffin said it could take a couple of days to fully restore power.

"There's a lot of moving pieces of the puzzle," she said. "We have to get everything on transmission lined up and corrected and fixed and repaired first."

Griffin is urging customers to stay off the roads and indoors.

"The last thing we want is for anything bad to happen to anyone," she said.

Another shot of a dilapidated barn near Kensington, P.E.I. (Jason Mann/Facebook)

The utility is asking the public to notify officials immediately if they notice downed power lines.

Summerside Electric has begun efforts to restore electricity in the area, but is warning residents that power could be out for a of couple days.

Peak winds on Saturday ranged from 98 km/h at St. Peters to 122 km/h at North Cape. Rainfall amounts were between 27 millimetres at St. Peters and 89 millimetres in Summerside.

Charlottetown's emergency measures team is working closely with the provincial EMO team to monitor the weather and potential impacts. The city held a briefing Sunday morning.

Randy MacDonald, fire chief and emergency measures co-ordinator for the city, said the Charlottetown Fire Department responded to around 30 calls dealing with downed trees and power lines.

Crews are out in full force clearing trees from P.E.I. roads. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

There was an electrical fire on HMCS Queen Charlotte.

"It was an electrical malfunction in the washroom and the sprinkler system activated and put the fire out," said MacDonald.

He said people should stay home while public works crews clear debris from city streets.

Provincial EMO officials said nearly 75 per cent of the province is without power and some communication infrastructure such as landlines and cellphones are down.

The provincial fire marshal's office is also reminding everyone to exercise caution when operating a generator at their home during a power outage.

Those that left their boats in the water overnight at Covehead Harbour woke up Sunday morning to find them partially sank. (Paul Legere/CBC)

There were around a dozen people at any given time charging their phones and getting a quick bite to eat at the St. Peters Fire Department on Sunday morning, said fire Chief Craig Campbell.

"I think we have a lot more trees down this time than we did before, than Hurricane Juan," Campbell said, noting several trees down outside the community on Route 313.

He said crews are working to make the roads in the area passable.

Campbell said he expected the warming shelter to remain open until 9 p.m. Sunday, and re-open on Monday morning if needed.

All scheduled flights at the Charlottetown airport resumed as of noon, said Doug Newson, the airport's CEO.

Service disruptions were expected Sunday for ferry crossings between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.

Properties sustained damage as the high winds peeled off shingles and even roofs. The Montague Fire Department responded to Beck's Home Furniture on Saturday as a portion of the roof came off the building.

Even some of the Island's tourist attractions took a hit. The large cow sculpture outside Cows Creamery in North River was blown over by the strong winds. Islanders have been spotted at the site taking a picture or two.

Workers with the city of Charlottetown are out cleaning up debris from the storm.

An overflow shelter opened in Charlottetown in preparation for increased demand at homeless shelters as a result of Dorian. Jack Blanchard Hall is expected to stay open until at least 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The city also opened reception centres for people looking to charge their devices at West Royalty Community Centre, Hillsborough Park Community Centre and Confederation Centre of the Arts, but they were expected to close at 4 p.m.

The hood of a car in Charlottetown crushed by a fallen tree. (Submitted by Dennis McGillivray)

There are a number of road closures because of the storm; Route 15, the Brackley Point Road, is closed to through traffic beginning at Apple Tree Road heading north.

The Shore Road in Cardigan is closed because a tree is down, and crews are on site working to clear it. People are asked to find another route.

A number of roads in the Prince Edward Island National Park are closed, and North Rustico from the corner of Church Hill Avenue to the Gulf Shore Parkway West is closed.

An apartment building on Burns Avenue in Charlottetown. (Julie Clow/CBC)

The Brackley Beach entrance to the national on Route 15 is closed all the way along the Gulf Shore Parkway East Road to the Covehead Wharf and the Wild Rose Road has been closed in Greenwich.

It wasn't just vehicles on the road that sustained damage, boats left in harbours overnight did not fare well.

For further information on closures and delays head to CBC P.E.I.'s Storm Centre.

More P.E.I. news


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