CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – As shingles and plywood tore from her roof over Saturday night’s wind storm, Lacey Thorpe of Summerside impatiently awaited the night to assess the damage.
“We just laid in bed listening to the roof fall apart, wondering what was going to happen next,” she said. “We have two babies at home so we barely slept because we were worrying about whether we were going to have to leave in the middle of the night.”
Thorpe said multiple large portions of her roof were stripped of shingles and plywood.
It was not finished being repaired by Sunday evening so Thorpe put a tarp over that part of her roof in hopes it doesn’t rain. Her basement also flooded and a 30-foot tree in her yard fall at the base, knocking down her neighbour’s fence.
“(The) night was absolutely terrifying,” she said.
Thorpe was one of the Islanders whose power did not go out Saturday evening.
By 5 p.m. Sunday, over 2,500 Maritime Electric customers remained without power following the storm.
That number was roughly 24,000 at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning as trees felled from the high winds which tore through P.E.I.
“That’s a significant outage,” said Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin. “Some of them were on transmission lines so we were able to put large pockets of customers back on.”
The number of power outages decreased significantly by 3:40 a.m. with 12,000 customers without power. By 11:15 a.m., the number dropped to 2,400. Numbers can fluctuate, said Griffin, depending on if a home owner hasn’t reported or weren’t able to report a power outage.
The wind warning for Prince, Queens and Kings counties ended Sunday morning, according to a release by Environment Canada.
The highest winds were reported in North Cape with winds up to 114 kilometres per hour. The second highest was in Charlottetown with winds up to 104 kilometres per hour.
The winds were caused by a low pressure system which developed along the east coast of the U.S. Friday evening and intensified rapidly on Saturday as it came northeast to the Maritimes.
“It was rapidly intensifying as it moved through New Brunswick so that led to very strong westerly winds behind the low as it moved away,” said Environment Canada operational meteorologist Spencer Clements.
Maritime Electric crews worked all night to restore power to residents and Griffin said most of the power outages were due to trees falling on power lines.
“There was a lot of large, older trees breaking and coming down on our lines so really challenging last night to find them and be able to cut the trees and do the repairs and get the work done,” she said.
Most of those outages are scattered throughout the province, as opposed to clustered in one area.
Griffin said she expected all power to be back on by midnight Sunday or by the early hours Monday morning and wanted to remind people to stay away from fallen power lines and to call and report it to Maritime Electric.
All Northumberland Ferries Ltd. sailings for Sunday were cancelled. The high winds also cancelled Saturday’s late sailings from Wood Islands and Caribou, N.S.
The Confederation Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles including trucks, tractor trailers, recreational vehicles and buses, automobiles towing trailers and motorcycles.
Arrivals and departures at the Charlottetown Airport ran on schedule, but the last cruise ship scheduled for the season cancelled docking in Charlottetown Sunday morning due to the high winds.
Across the Maritimes, more than 94,000 NB Power customers were in the dark after 100 km/h winds swept across the province Saturday and into Sunday. Wind warnings had been posted Saturday and Environment Canada said parts of the province could also expect 15 millimetres of rain.
Nova Scotia, where wind and rain warnings was also posted, was hit with similar strength gusts Saturday and into Sunday along the Fundy coast and over northern sections of Cape Breton.
Nova Scotia Power reported Sunday that more than 18,000 of its customers were waiting to be reconnected.