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Power outages dropping as big clean up continues

By Steve MacArthur Sep 25, 2022 | 5:44 AM

Grandview Street, Sydney.

Premier Houston to visit hardest hit regions of Cape Breton Sunday morning

Premier Tim Houston along with other representatives from the provincial government will visit some of the communities in Cape Breton hardest hit by Hurricane Fiona this morning.

Premier Houston is traveling via helicopter along with John Lohr, Minister responsible for the provincial Emergency Management Office and Kim Masland, Minister of Public Works. They will be landing shortly after 10:00 a.m. at a Department of Natural Resources and Renewables facility in Coxheath.

They will then be joined by other representatives from the provincial government to speak with the media at noon in Glace Bay.



About 125,000 Nova Scotians have power again following Hurricane Fiona’s devastating impact on the province.

In his last update, President & CEO of NS Power Peter Gregg said in many areas wind speeds are still too high for crews to use bucket trucks but they are still working to remove wires from roads and vehicles.

As of Sunday morning, still 275,000 people in our province were without electricity, down from a peak of roughly 415,000 on Saturday.

Gregg says hundreds of broken poles have been identified so far and downed trees are impeding access in many parts of the province.

He says there has been extremely extensive damage in Cape Breton and a satellite emergency operations centre has been opened in Sydney.

Gregg says they anticipate many customers will see outages for multiple days. He reminds everyone to not touch any downed power lines regardless if the power is off.

More details from feds on support for Fiona recovery

The federal government is providing more details about the military and financial aid for Atlantic Canada.

Comments from the Prime Minister and Emergency Preparedness Minister can be found here.

The province made the request for aid earlier today.

Environment Canada weather summary on Fiona

A preliminary summary of the wind and rain conditions that came along with Fiona has been released by Environment Canada.

They say Fiona made landfall as a hurricane strength post tropical storm near Whitehead Nova Scotia, near  Canso, around 3:00 am this morning.

The highest rainfall was 192 mm recorded at Osborne Head, near Cole Harbour, while the highest wind gusts was 171 km/h recorded at Arisaig, near Amtigonish.

Federal leaders weigh in on Fiona’s impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s thinking about everyone affected, and says the government will be here for them.

He says there was an incident response meeting this morning with Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, and the government is ready to provide resources to Atlantic Canada.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre says the damage is gut-wrenching, and he’s praying for everyone’s safety.

He encourages everyone to follow the guidance of local public safety officials and first responders.

Nova Scotia provides update on Fiona recovery efforts

Provincial officials have provided Nova Scotians with an update on recovery efforts from Hurricane Fiona.

Premier Tim Houston says the province has requested military and disaster assistance  from the federal government.

He says damage assessments are underway and for people to stay off the road.

Houston says most municipalities intend to open comfort centres to let people charge devices and receive updates. He says to check with your municipality for local updates and only call 911 in emergency situations.

John Lohr the Minister responsible for the provincial Emergency Management Office says they have moved to a Level 3 activation and resources are being moved to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and Victoria County.

He says federal minister of public safety Bill Blair will be quickly providing disaster financial assistance. The Red Cross is also providing assistance.

You can view the full update here.


RCMP know you want coffee, ask that you stay home for now

Police are asking people to wait a little longer before heading out for a cup of coffee. 

Long lineups at drive thrus are blocking roads and making recovery efforts from Fiona difficult, the RCMP said on Twitter. 

Increased traffic is prompting calls to police dispatchers, who are already handling high call volumes, they said.

Police are asking people to stay at home if possible; if you do need to go out, they ask that you yield to emergency vehicles and clean up crews.

Update from Nova Scotia RCMP

RCMP say there have been no deaths or serious injuries as a result of Fiona so far.

But officers have been busy.

In a release, police say they’ve responded to hundreds of calls about stranded motorists, downed power lines and trees and washed out roads.

RCMP say three people suffered minor injuries in Colchester County when they became stranded while off-roading overnight.

Police and volunteers from the Tatamagouche Fire Department helped rescue them from their vehicle.

Power restoration efforts resume in Western Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Power issued a statement this morning around 8:00 a.m. indicating their crews in the western half of the province are resuming their power restoration efforts.

Late Friday night the provincial utility stood down all crews in response to wind speeds surpassing 80 km/h, as is their policy.

With the Western half of the province being spared the brunt of the storm restoration efforts have been authorized to resume as wind speeds no longer exceed NSP’s threshold.

There are over 900 powerline technicians, forestry technicians and damage assessors in the field, across the province, with hundreds more, including engineers and customer service representatives working behind the scenes to support crews and customers. Crews from New Brunswick, Maine and Quebec arrived yesterday to help with restoration efforts.

Restoration efforts in the province’s eastern half, including both Halifax and Cape Breton, remain on hold until wind speeds drop further.

CBRM Declares State of Emergency

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality declared a state of emergency shortly before 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

Islanders are now being asked to shelter in place as the storm continues to batter Nova Scotia’s northern half.

Local comfort centres are now preparing to open and the province says to check with your municipality for updates.

The CBRM has released a list of the comfort centres:

• Howie Centre Fire Department, 47 Tometary Dr, Howie Centre
• New Waterford Fire Department, 3336 Walsh Ave, New Waterford
• Big Pond Fire Department, Big Pond, NS
• Boisdale Fire Department Community hall
• Reserve Mines Fire Department Community Hall, 195 Main Street
• Glace Bay Miners Forum, 151 Lower N St, Glace Bay,

A post on social media shows that a road near Saint Georges Channel collapsed sometime during the storm

Argyle Street, Sydney Cape Breton. c/o NS Power.

Bob Robichaud with the Canadian Hurricane Centre says Fiona is currently about 100 km to the southwest of Newfoundland and Labrador and conditions will improve over the next three to six hours.

He says wind speeds are still over 90 km/h in parts of northern mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Robichaud says rainfall was between 100-150 mm with reports of coastal flooding still coming in.

Officials take a look at Fiona’s track.

However, many communities outside the track will still see bad conditions. Total rainfall amounts range from 40mm in parts of southwestern Nova Scotia to 150mm (or more) in Cape Breton.

Assessing damage first step for NSP

Nova Scotia Power (NSP) tells us they are doing everything they can to put crews in the right place to restore outages. However, they couldn’t predict how long it might take to get the lights back on once outages start happening.

Matt Drover is the storm lead for NSP was asked about restoration time in the briefing but really could predict that right now.

“It’s very difficult at this point to estimate how long the outages will occur, our first job will be to assess the damage when the storm calms down,” he explained. “We can’t work on lines if wind is 80 km/h or higher.”

The utility has more than 500,000 power poles in the province and about 800 crew ready to work on this massive storm.

Stay away from the water

Throughout the week, officials on the front lines have stressed the importance of storm chasers and surfers to sit this one out.

Erica Fleck is Halifax Fire’s assistant chief of emergency management.

“Peggy’s Cove and Halifax Waterfront will be barricaded off and for surfers in Lawrencetown where the waves and wave watchers tend to come out…it will be really unsafe and really anywhere near the water during this storm.”

Fiona touches down in Newfoundland

Devastation in the coastal community of Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland from Hurricane Fiona.

At least 20 homes washed out to sea, and one woman was recovered from the ocean.

Reports in the area say another woman is still missing.

MP of St. John’s-South-Mount Pearl Seamus O’Regan says they’ve been in contact with the province and municipality.

The town has declared a State of Emergency.

with files from Evan Taylor, Scott Pettigrew, Jakob Postlewaite and Kevin Northup.


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