HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s power utility worked hard Monday to restore power to thousands of customers after Post-Tropical Storm Lee swept through the Maritimes over the weekend, causing downed trees and power lines.
The storm brought sustained winds with gusts reaching 100 kilometers per hour or more in some areas throughout Saturday and Sunday, affecting about 280,000 customers at the height of the outage, said Matt Drover, Nova Scotia’s director of energy supply. Power.
“We had almost 24 hours where the storm passed over Nova Scotia with strong winds,” Drover said in an interview. “So the winds blew for a long period of time, hitting trees across the province.”
Drover said that with the ground saturated by record levels of rain this summer, trees were uprooted during the storm, causing branches and entire trees to fall onto power lines in some areas. The utility said Sunday it had deployed about 800 people across the province to restore power.
“In some cases, (workers) have to make repairs and put the lines back in, and in other cases, they have to replace the poles — that’s the biggest challenge,” Drover said.
Approximately 130 trees were cut down in the Halifax region alone, the municipality announced Sunday.
As of 5 p.m. local time Monday, the utility was still dealing with just over 14,000 outages, primarily along Nova Scotia’s south coast, in the Annapolis Valley and in Halifax. Areas around Truro, New Glasgow and Antigonish were also affected.
Drover said he believed power would be restored to the vast majority of customers by Monday night, although some areas of the hardest-hit areas of the south coast may remain without power until Tuesday.
In neighboring New Brunswick, where Lee brought heavy downpours, there were just under 400 customers without power Monday afternoon, mostly in Charlotte County in the province’s southwest.
NB Power spokeswoman Dominique Couture said around 90,000 customers were affected at various times over the weekend, mainly due to falling trees and branches onto the lines.
“It was primarily a vegetation issue,” Couture said of the outages that needed to be resolved Monday night.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm made landfall Saturday on Long Island, in Nova Scotia’s Digby Neck, with winds of nearly 70 miles per hour.