FREDERICTON (GNB) – Although no major infrastructure damage from Thursday’s storm has been reported, power outages in various areas in the province have resulted from power lines touching and branches making contact with lines. Restoration efforts are in progress.

The storm continues in some parts of the province, with snowfall and strong winds. However, road accessibility is improving, which has permitted NB Power to make progress with restoration efforts throughout the province. Estimated times of restoration have been updated on NB Power’s website. Customers who do not have Internet access can call 1-800-866-6272 for an update. NB Power estimates the majority of customers impacted by the storm will have electricity restored by the end of today. However, the utility encourages customers to continue to check restoration updates for the latest targets, as changing local conditions can alter these estimates.

Customers without power are reminded to turn down their electric heat sources and unplug major appliances in advance of power restoration to avoid a surge in demand, which has the potential to cause more outages. This is known as cold load pickup. Heat sources and appliances can be turned on gradually following restoration.

Residents should never approach downed power lines or trees that are in contact with power lines.

If you need help

If residents encounter medical emergencies or a house fire, they should not hesitate to call 911. If people must leave home for personal safety, and do not have access to alternative accommodations (neighbours, friends or family), they can contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1-800-222-9597.

People in communities without power are encouraged to check on their neighbours, particularly the elderly and other vulnerable people, to see if any assistance is required.

Carbon monoxide

Exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to health problems, illness or death. Carbon monoxide has no smell, taste or colour. Unless a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in a home, residents might never know it is present until it is too late.

Never operate generators or cook with an open flame inside a home or garage, as these activities create carbon monoxide.

Never leave candles or lanterns unattended. Take a moment to test the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

Warming centres

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization is working with municipalities to determine the need for warming centres in areas affected by power outages. If necessary, these centres would allow New Brunswickers to rest, warm up and recharge devices. Warming centre locations will be announced as they open, if and when necessary.

Road conditions

Drivers are urged to stay off the roads during the storm due to covered roads and poor visibility. Remember to check NB 511 to ensure road conditions are safe before doing any travelling, including after the storm.

If a vehicle becomes stuck on the road, the driver should remain with it and call for emergency assistance. Ensure that the exhaust pipe is clear of obstructions if the vehicle is to be kept running. A blocked exhaust pipe can result in passengers in the vehicle being exposed to carbon monoxide.

Food safety

Residents without power should not open their freezer or fridge unless it is 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.

People with medical concerns who are affected by power outages are encouraged to call Tele-Care 811.