Maine power crews expected to arrive today to aid storm recovery - Jul. 07, 2014
The sheer number of fallen trees across power lines has left NB Power with its worst-ever outage. Power crews from Maine are expected to arrive today (Monday) to assist in post-storm cleanup efforts.
NB Power crews working to restore power throughout the province have been joined by 25 Hydro Quebec crews, and an additional 15 crews from Hydro Quebec expected to join them in the province this afternoon.
Meghan Gerrish, a spokesperson for the provincial utility, said 25 crews from Central Maine Power are also expected to arrive in the province today to lend a hand and eight of those crews are expected to remain in the St. Stephen area to work.
There are 220 crews working right now in the province said Gerrish and some members, with as many as 25 years experience, have stated they’ve never seen such devastation and so many large, uprooted trees. “There are century-old trees uprooted. Some are so big they can’t get their arms around them,” said Gerrish.
She said the difference between this extensive power outage and that of the ice storm in December is the significant amount of damage to infrastructure – the high voltage lines that take the power to distribution systems. “There’s been a lot of damage to transmission lines.”
Gerrish said there are 7,000 km of lines in the province.
“They fly helicopters over to find the areas of damage; they are using four wheelers to access. It’s a lot of work to get to some areas.”
Gerrish said the province did not expect to be as affected as it was by post-tropical storm Arthur. It was being tracked but indicated it was going to hit Nova Scotia.
She encouraged residents to have patience and said crews were working as quickly as they could.
There are still some 80,000 customers without power in Fredericton. Eighty per cent of those should have power restored by Wednesday, the other 20 per cent may have to wait as long as the weekend.