PEI

Power back on for most Islanders after winter storm sweeps through

A snowstorm that swept through P.E.I. overnight Friday cut power to thousands of homes. The number of outages had dropped to 1,500 by Saturday evening.

Maritime Electric crews worked Friday night through Saturday to restore electricity

A man tries to get his car unstuck in Stratford, P.E.I. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

A snowstorm that swept through P.E.I. overnight Friday cut power to many homes.

At some points Saturday, the number of reported outages reached over 7,000. But that number had dropped to 1,500, most on the eastern half of the Island, by Saturday evening.

Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin said crews were out Friday night to restore power, but that visibility and difficult road conditions made things challenging.

"We had crews out for a couple of hours this morning and they've already been able to restore several thousand customers," she said Saturday. 

"It is slow going on Prince Edward Island. We know that our crews as well as a plow operators are out across the Island, but in some situations with these winds, some of the roads are filling up just as quickly as they can be plowed."

Winds reached 100 km/h in parts of the province. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

An Environment Canada winter storm warning issued Thursday afternoon was lifted by Saturday morning.

CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said preliminary snow totals for most of the Island are between 20 and 40 centimetres, which is in line with forecast estimates.

Preliminary snow totals for P.E.I. are mostly in the range of 20-40 centimetres. (Louise Martin/CBC)

"It may look like much more due to significant drifting with sustained winds of 50-60+ km/h and gusts of 90-100+ km/h during the height of the storm," Scotland said. 

"All warnings have ended, but blowing snow is still a concern this morning and likely into the early afternoon for exposed areas as the wind continues to ease gradually through the day."

Traffic at the Confederation Bridge was restricted in the morning due to high winds. But restrictions were lifted at noon.

Griffin said Maritime Electric hoped restorations would pick up with calmer winds and better roads.

A Charlottetown street Friday noon and the same spot a day later. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

"It was a significant storm," she said.

A map of the outages can be found here.

There was plenty of snow to clean up on Saturday. (Lee Rosevere/CBC)

On Friday night, Charlottetown police tweeted that they received over 50 calls of vehicles and people stranded due to the storm.

COVID-19 testing clinics and the Canadian Health Labs vaccination clinics closed Saturday due to the stormy weather. The Charlottetown and Borden-Carleton clinics will be open on Sunday.

With files from Blair Sanderson

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