More than 1,000 on P.E.I. lose power as winter storm winds down

More than 1,000 on P.E.I. lose power as winter storm winds down

A winter storm that hit PEI on Tuesday is expected to leave the island this morning, but it has knocked out the power grid in West Prince in its final hours.

At 9:45 am Maritime Electric reported more than 1,000 customers without power, with the greatest concentration of outages in the Alberton area.

Schools are closed and many offices have delayed opening, but life in the province is beginning to return to normal.

The winter storm warnings were still in effect early Wednesday morning, but have since been lifted.

Schools in the French Language Public Schools Branch and School Board are closed on that day. Holland College and UPEI are postponing openings until noon, except for Holland College’s West Prince campus, which is grappling with a power outage.

Most of the snow has fallen, only a few inches are expected, but winds remain strong with gusts of up to 90 km/h. This creates blowing snow and dangerous conditions on the roads.

Storm conditions in North Rustico, morning of December 14, 2022
Snow blows across the street as the sun rises in North Rustico. (Nicola MacLeod/CBC)

How much snow comes depends on where you are.

“About an inch to two inches above what we already have, but closer to two to four inches for Prince County,” said CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin.

“If you just look at the radar, there are some bands of heavier snow, so larger amounts are certainly out of the question.”

“I enjoy seeing the snow”

Mazen Mansour, 18, is from Egypt and is experiencing his first storm, he said.

A man stands smiling amid the snow in Charlottetown.
Mazen Mansour says this is his first snowstorm. (Kate McKenna/CBC)

“The snow is a lot to see,” Mansour said.

“I enjoy seeing the snow… but this,” he said, laughing, pointing to his gloves, “this is important.”

Arjinder Kaur is no stranger to PEI storms and says it is nothing like her experience in previous winters. She usually looks forward to the first snowfall, but the excitement wears off pretty quickly.

“I was in Montreal when it first snowed, it was great there, but not anymore,” she said. “It’s my fourth winter in Canada, so no.”

Roads dangerously early in the day

Some plows were pulled off the roads before sunrise in parts of Prince and Queens counties because of whiteouts.

Conditions have since improved.

A related special weather statement Wednesday morning said water levels along the coast would be higher than normal, with pounding surf on the north and east-facing coasts. This particular weather statement has also been cancelled.

About 700 Maritime Electric customers were without power late Tuesday evening, but these were restored by morning. The utility is now dealing with the new outage.

There have been some flight cancellations at Charlottetown Airport, but traffic on the Confederation Bridge is operating normally. Northumberland Ferries’ first two sailings are cancelled.

Wind is expected to weaken with sunshine in the afternoon.

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