TRACADIE (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant joined officials with NB Power and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) in Tracadie today to update residents on the intensifying storm recovery.

“Again, I want to recognize the efforts of the hardworking power crews who continue to make progress to restore power throughout the province,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “I am also very grateful for all the volunteers who are going door-to-door to check on residents.”

More than 200 volunteers are going door to door to check on the welfare of residents with more on the way. This includes visiting all nursing homes and special care homes, as well as visiting individual homes provincewide to inquire whether they have additional needs or require transportation to warming centres.

The provincial government has also reached out to the federal government to see if the military can support recovery efforts.

“A team from the Armed Forces is on the ground and conducting reconnaissance today to determine if there are any appropriate tasks for them to carry out to help our response” said Gallant “If any tasks are identified we will not hesitate to request their assistance.”

NB Power

Crews continue to make progress in reconnecting our customers affected by the ice storm. They are working in some very challenging conditions, including removing trees and debris from lines and roads, and high winds along the Northumberland shore.

By the end of day Saturday, NB Power estimates crews will restore power to 80 per cent of residents in the Miramichi, 90 per cent in Kent County, 80 per cent in the Acadian Peninsula and 99 percent in the Southeast.

Yesterday crews made significant progress in getting some key infrastructure back in service in the hardest hit areas of the province.

  • All substations and transmission lines have now been restored.
  • These key pieces of infrastructure bring bulk power into the region and this will help tremendously with getting key services back up and running.
  • In the southeast, the utility made tremendous progress while also seeing a large number of new outages being added.
  • Power was restored to hospitals in Tracadie and Lamèque and Caraquet.

To date, more than 150,000 customers have been restored since outages began Tuesday evening with the highest number of customers out at any one time being 133,000 on Wednesday.

Crew numbers have grown to 314 on the ground working out of eight local operational command centres, with about half of the crews in the northeast and the remainder in the east and southeast. Crews available to the Acadien Peninsula have been increased.

Specific times for restoration are now available on NB Power’s website. These are targets based on the best information they have at this time.

Carbon monoxide

The number of people being treated in hospital for illnesses that are suspected to be related to carbon monoxide is now seven. The provincial government has confirmed two people have died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

EMO officials remind New Brunswickers to never run generators or cook with an open flame inside a home or the garage as these activities create carbon monoxide (CO) which can become extremely dangerous. It is also important that generators are kept away from a residence so gases cannot enter a home. Never leave candles or lanterns unattended. Take a moment to test the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

If a CO alarm sounds or if you suspect CO in your home immediately go outside into fresh air.

Emergency measures

The provincial emergency operations centre remains activated and officials from all government departments are co-ordinating recovery response.

More than 200 volunteers are going door to door to check on the welfare of residents with more on the way. This includes visiting all nursing homes and special care homes, as well as visiting individual homes province-wide to inquire whether they have additional needs or require transportation to warming centres.

In addition, a mobile command post has been established in Caraquet.

Shelters and warming centres

A regional reception centre and shelter has been established in Bas Caraquet at École l’Escale-des-Jeunes, 2930 Morais St. This centre will be fully staffed by the Red Cross and will be open until recovery efforts end. At this centre residents can register with the Red Cross and provide information to of any issues they are encountering during this time. Residents are strongly encouraged to visit this centre to get some relief from the cold. Smaller emergency shelters and warming centres remain open as well.

Anyone with questions about these centres can call the Red Cross at 1-800-222-9597 or NBEMO at 1-800561-4034.

Important public reminders

Never run generators or cook with an open flame, inside a home or the garage, as these activities create carbon monoxide which can become extremely dangerous. Never leave candles or lanterns unattended. Take a moment to test the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

Residents should not approach downed power lines, or trees that are in contact with power lines.

Residents are encouraged to check on their neighbours, particularly the elderly, to see if they require any assistance.

Anyone who is having difficulty with being cold should visit one of the warming centres or emergency shelters. If you do not know how to get to these centres, call EMO at 1-800-561-4034.

New Brunswickers with any medical concerns who are affected by power outages are encouraged to call Tele-Care 811. If you are in an emergency situation call 911.

If your power is out turn down heat sources and unplug major appliances in their home in advance of power restoration to avoid a surge in demand that has the potential to cause more outages.

Anyone travelling should exercise extreme caution while driving, especially in rural areas where they may encounter downed trees and power lines.

Food safety: If you have no power, do not open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. If the door remains closed, a full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours without electricity. These products can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present. All perishable food in a refrigerator without electricity for more than 24 hours should be discarded.

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