Power slowly being restored in Maritimes after storm

The number of people without electricity in New Brunswick continued to decline Wednesday after a powerful winter storm pulled down power lines across the Maritimes earlier this week.

A surfer rides a wave at Cow Bay

A surfer rides a wave at Cow Bay

HALIFAX — The number of people without electricity in New Brunswick continued to decline Wednesday after a powerful winter storm pulled down power lines across the Maritimes earlier this week.

NB Power reported 200 without electricity shortly after 8 p.m. local time, down from 800 earlier in the day.

Most of the homes and businesses without power were in the Bouctouche, Miramichi and Sussex areas, which were hit hard by a storm that rolled into the region on Monday.

At the height of the storm, more than 50,000 homes and residences were without electricity in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

In P.E.I., some brief, sporadic outages were reported across the Island Wednesday, at one point leaving 1,500 in the dark before the sun came up.

Restrictions on high-sided vehicles crossing the Confederation Bridge were lifted Wednesday after being in place for more than 24 hours.

In Nova Scotia, the two dozen customers still off the grid early Wednesday in the Digby area had their power restored before the day was through.

While some parts of the region saw sunshine for the first time in days, Labrador was hit by a big dump of snow, with the forecast calling for up to 40 centimetres in some coastal communities by Thursday morning.

In New Brunswick, more than 880 claimants have registered with the province for compensation arising from a series of floods and storm surges that have hit the province over the past month.

Emergency Measures Organization spokesman Ryan Donaghy said his staff have been working through the holidays to help those who lost their homes and possessions.

“They realize this isn’t an easy time of year for people to incur this kind of damage, so we want to be there, ready to help and get the ball moving,” he said.

He said residents can be compensated for the loss of appliances that can’t be easily moved, such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and driers. As well, coverage can include cleanup costs, lost food, some driveway repairs and drywall replacement.

Cottages and other properties that aren’t a main residence won’t be covered by the assistance program, Donaghy said.

Bill Lawlor, director of disaster management with the Canadian Red Cross in Atlantic Canada, said host families are housing 54 individuals around the province while 60 others have been put up in hotels.

“We’ve made ourselves available and we’re reaching out,” Lawlor said.