PEI

Could be another week before some Islanders get power, says Maritime Electric

Maritime Electric said Friday that it could be another week before some Islanders get power restored, meaning some people will have been without power for three weeks.

'This is terrible news for our customers that don't have power'

Off-Island crews won't be sent away any time soon and more may be coming according to Kim Griffin, spokesperson for Maritime Electric. (Tony Davis/CBC)
  • If your data or internet is limited in the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona, click here for the CBC Lite version of the P.E.I. site. 

Maritime Electric said Friday that it could be another week before some Islanders get power restored, meaning some people will have been without power for three weeks. 

"We're finding that our average individual outages are taking us four to five times longer than it did in Dorian. So, it is looking like we are going into Friday Oct. 14 which is next Friday, another week for these individual customers," said the utility's spokesperson Kim Griffin.

"This is terrible news for our customers that don't have power."

In many cases, no power means businesses and homes have no heat, no hot water— in some cases no running water at all.

As more locations were brought online more individual outages were found, Griffin said.

According to the Maritime Electric Outage map there are still over 9,000 customers without power.

Crews will remain on the Island to continue to help restore power, Griffin said.

"We still have 223 crews, nobody is going home, but it's just taking four to five times longer than we thought," Griffin said.

"We've been working with seeing if we can get more crews to come over tomorrow and the next day."

Griffin said she will know Friday night if those crews will be able to be sent. The hope is to get at least 1,000 more people powered by the end of the night.

Two weeks after post-tropical storm Fiona thousands are still waiting for the lights to turn back on. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

In a news release Friday afternoon, the province warned that wind and more rain in the weekend's forecast may cause more branches and trees to fall, and move curbside debris into Island roadways, causing potentially additional damage to roads and property.

"An approaching cold front will produce 20 km/hr to 40 km/h southwesterly wind tonight into Saturday morning, followed by a brisk west to northwest wind in the afternoon," said CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.

"While these expected gusts are far below warning criteria, please be mindful of any debris you may have piled on your property. Loose materials, such as shingles, siding, branches and small limbs may be moved onto nearby roads and sidewalks."

Drivers will want to be careful of debris that may blow into roads.

Sunny, calmer weather will return Sunday, said Scotland. 

While crews continue to work to restore power to all the utility's customers on the Island, here are some places Islanders still waiting can turn to for help:

211 

The province's 211 service provides around-the-clock help to Islanders, connecting them with resources and information.

This includes questions related to food needs, clearing debris and emergency shelters. 

While the service was initially overwhelmed with the volume of calls those wait times have since dropped significantly.. 

Reception Centres

The P.E.I. government has compiled a list of nearly 50 reception centres across Prince Edward Island that opened after Fiona, serving people who had been displaced from their homes or were without power due to post-tropical storm Fiona.

That list includes contact information for each of the reception centres, their hours of operation, and what services they are offering.

It's broken down into categories including which ones you can go to for charging your devices, and which have water, snacks, food or showers. 

Canadian Red Cross 

A week after Fiona hit the Island, the Canadian Red Cross announced it would distribute $250 in financial assistance to impacted households on behalf of the provincial government.

This is to help with basic needs such as gas or food. 

Support phone lines were busy following the storm with Islanders looking for help. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

In an email to CBC News the Red Cross said as of Friday, the $250 distribution on behalf of the province has been sent to 20,646 Island households valued at $5,161,750.

"This number will increase each day as registrations are verified. We are also taking steps to increase our presence within community in an effort to assist those who may be having difficulty registering by phone or online, as well as to provide support to those who do not use internet banking," the email read. 

It said the Red Cross will continue sending these funds to eligible Islanders until all registered households who require this urgent support have been reached.

Impacted households can register online or by calling 1-800-863-6582.

Hurricane Fiona in Canada Appeal

In a news release on Friday, the Red Cross announced more funds available to Islanders most in need raised through donations to the organization's Hurricane Fiona in Canada Appeal.

With these donated funds, the Red Cross will provide $500 in financial assistance to households most impacted by Fiona.

Islanders can register online at www.redcross.ca/hurricanefiona or by calling 1-800-863-6582.

"Once a Red Cross registration number has been received by a household for Hurricane Fiona, that household is considered registered and does not need to do so again. Any duplicate registrations may delay the process as additional validation will be needed," the release said.

Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Program

The Red Cross is also administering the Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Program

This is for households, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help with uninsurable losses like cleanup costs or replacing personal property.

Islanders who may have have questions or need support from this program are directed to call the Red Cross at 1-833-966-4225 or email PEISupport@redcross.ca

Charlottetown Mutual Aid

Volunteer groups such as Charlottetown Mutual Aid are also helping Islanders impacted by the storm.

The group has been busy cooking hot meals and delivering them along with other supplies to people in need. 

Charlottetown Mutual Aid just secured additional funding through a $15,000 United Way grant, applying alongside BIPOC USHR. (Mikee Mutuc/CBC)

Charlottetown Mutual Aid has received nearly $40,000 in donations. About $35,000 of that had been spent getting essential goods into the hands of people.

"That is all money that has gone directly back into the community, most of it has gone to supplies and food," said Eleanor Wedlake who handles financial support for the group.

Mental Health support

As people continuously clear debris and wait for their power to come back, they may need mental health support.

Anyone in a crisis can contact the Mobile Mental Health Response Service by calling 1-833-553-6983.

There are also a number of mental health and addiction walk-in clinics available in Montague, Charlottetown, Summerside and O'Leary. 

PEERS Alliance is taking calls and emails to help people navigate services and provide peer-to-peer mentorship. 

As well, the Bridge the Gapp website lists services and resources for adults and youths with apps to help you immediately.

Another option is to contact P.E.I.'s mental health and addictions patient navigator at 902-218-3298.

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