PEI

Crews working to restore power treated to free lunch

It’s the fourth day without power for hundreds of people on P.E.I. It's also the fourth day for dozens of Maritime Electric crews working around the clock to get power restored.

Maritime Electric says some customers should expect to be without power until Monday

Maritime Electric crews have been working around the clock to restore power to Islanders. (Maritime Electric)

It's the fourth day without power for hundreds of Islanders on P.E.I. And also the fourth day for dozens of Maritime Electric crews working around the clock to get power restored.

For some, the outages will continue into a fifth day. As of early Sunday evening, more than 1,400 customers were still without power, mostly in western P.E.I.  Maritime Electric says not everyone will have their power restored by the end of the day.

"Unfortunately, our current operations assessment is telling us that we are probably going to have customers into Monday that are not going to have power," said spokesperson Kim Griffin. 

Crews are working long days on hundreds of smaller jobs in outlying communities, replacing poles, trimming trees and fixing wires, Griffin said. 

But their efforts haven't gone unnoticed.

Bonnie Gaudet, owner of Our Family Traditions Restaurant in Tignish, gave 10 free meals to workers who stopped in for a break on Saturday.

'Working really hard'

"They're working really hard and I know people's been giving them coffee and other things and this is our way of giving it to them. They just got a surprise. They just walked in and we gave it because we wanted to," she said.

(Krista Newman/Facebook)

"They're helping our community and we try to to help our community whenever we can and this is a way that we can help them a little bit."

About 80,000 customers were without power on Thursday as a storm hit P.E.I. with heavy snow and wind.

16-hour days

Krista Newman said her husband Cory, a power line technician with Maritime Electric in western P.E.I., has been working 16-hour days ever since. 

"There's been people stopping and giving them baked good and Timbits and other things to keep them fed throughout the day as they work these long days," she said.

Griffin said the crews appreciate the kindness and support.

"Islanders have been outstanding to our crews, beeping horns and stopping by and giving nice gestures to them. I think they're appreciative of people being out in the cold weather and working and yes, it's part of their job, but it's just been so wonderful and kind of people."

Islanders have been outstanding to our crews, beeping horns and stopping by and giving nice gestures to them— Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin

Some of the warming stations that were set up in various communities on Thursday were still open Sunday.

Staff at the Belfast Rec Centre and Tignish Fire Hall said most people who are still without power are using generators or have found a place to stay, though a few have gone in for water and and to charge their phones.

Griffin said once the power has been restored, the work won't be over for the crews.

"We're into weeks if not months of cleanup post this storm, so it's been a really extensive storm."   

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane Ross

Journalist

Shane Ross is a journalist with CBC News on Prince Edward Island. Previously, he worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Halifax, Ottawa and Charlottetown. You can reach him at shane.ross@cbc.ca.

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