Halifax schools to reopen Wednesday, but many others to stay closed as Fiona cleanup continues

Halifax schools to reopen Wednesday, but many others to stay closed as Fiona cleanup continues

Nova Scotia Power says it is "mobilizing the company's largest restoration resource deployment" in recovery efforts following post-tropical storm Fiona.

"The storm that we were preparing for with Fiona is one that was as intense as Juan and as widespread as Dorian and that's definitely what we got," Matt Drover, the company's storm, said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

Drover's comments come as power has been restored for more than 60 per cent of Nova Scotia Power customers.

As of 2:50 p.m. Tuesday, more than 128,000 customers are without power, down from more than 400,000 on Saturday. The company has approximately 525,000 customers across the province.

Drover said there are 1,300 people on the ground and 100 more were on the way to help with power restoration.

Many schools to remain closed, but Halifax reopening

Schools will remain closed on Wednesday for the Strait Regional Centre for Education and the Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education.

Schools in the Cape Breton Victoria-Regional Centre for Education are closed for the remainder of the week.

Most schools that are part of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will be open Wednesday, with the exception of École acadienne de Pomquet and École acadienne de Truro which will stay closed for the day. Centre scolaire Étoile de l'Acadie in Sydney, N.S., will be closed until next week.

N.S. Department of Education
N.S. Department of Education

The province announced most schools in the Halifax Regional Centre for Education district will reopen Wednesday.

Upper Musquodoboit Consolidated School will remain closed Wednesday due to an extended power outage. There are 16 other schools still without power, but Nova Scotia Power says those buildings should have power restored Tuesday night. If power is not restored to any of those schools overnight, cancellation information will be shared with parents by 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Those schools are:

  • A.J. Smeltzer Junior High

  • Atlantic View Elementary

  • Bedford and Forsyth Education Centre (Dartmouth Campus)

  • Caudle Park Elementary

  • Gorsebrook Junior High

  • Harbour View Elementary

  • Holland Road Elementary

  • Horizon Elementary

  • Ian Forsyth Elementary

  • John Martin Junior High

  • Musquodoboit Rural High

  • Musquodoboit Valley Education Centre

  • Oxford School

  • Shannon Park Elementary

  • Sir Charles Tupper Elementary

  • St. Stephen's Elementary

Regional power updates

On Monday, Nova Scotia Power shared details on Twitter about restoration work in different regions.

There are over 300 workers, including power line technicians, forestry technicians and damage assessors, helping to bring back power in Cape Breton, northeast Nova Scotia, and the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Restoration work in Cape Breton, northeastern Nova Scotia and the HRM began Saturday evening because winds were above warning levels for 14 hours, preventing crews from doing repairs.

As of Monday morning, power was restored for 40 per cent of customers in Cape Breton, 30 per cent in the northeast, 80 per cent in HRM, and 95 per cent in the western part of the province.

Winds reached 140 km/h in Cape Breton during the peak of the storm, 150 km/h in northeast Nova Scotia, 110 km/h in HRM and 90 km/h in the western part of the province.

Damage in Cape Breton and the northeast region in HRM was mainly caused by broken poles and trees on power lines, while washed out roads limited access for crews in Cape Breton.

There are over 100 power line technicians, forestry technicians, and damage assessors in the western part of the province. Restoration work began Friday overnight into Saturday.

Military personnel are helping tidy roads and clean debris around power lines so Nova Scotia Power can restore lines faster.

Lt.-Col. Adam Poirier said the military is conducting assessments in Pictou County to understand the gravity and scope of the work required. Poirier said he would relay what he finds out to his boss either tonight or Wednesday morning.

Premier Tim Houston also announced $40 million in relief funding Monday afternoon.

Antigonish County

Owen McCarron, the warden of Antigonish County, says some residents are starting to get power back Tuesday but about 70 per cent of the region is still without electricity.

He said one large transmission line in the area that was extensively damaged was repaired Monday. He said he's hopeful this will allow more people will be back up and running later today.

"There's going to be a lot of restoration over the next weeks and it's going to take a while to get to get through it all for sure," McCarron told CBC Radio's Information Morning Nova Scotia on Tuesday. "But the community's been very good. They've been very patient and and everybody [is] sort of pulling together to help out."

McCarron said as politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tour the area, they should recognize the need for "immediate assistance."

"Now, everybody understands we're only a couple of days into this and it takes time for that to happen, but I think there's that urgency that we need to get boots on the ground and understand the magnitude of the of the destruction in this area."

Government offices closed

Provincial government offices in Antigonish, Pictou and Victoria counties and Cape Breton Regional Municipality are closed on Tuesday due to power outages. Offices in other counties are open unless they have been affected by local power outages.