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Thousands without power as strong winds continue to whip P.E.I.

Gusts are projected to be stronger in eastern Prince Edward Island than in Prince County by 5 p.m. AT on Monday. (Tina Simpkin/CBC - image credit)
Gusts are projected to be stronger in eastern Prince Edward Island than in Prince County by 5 p.m. AT on Monday. (Tina Simpkin/CBC - image credit)

Thousands of P.E.I. customers remained without power Monday evening as high winds continued to sweep across the province.

At 8:15 p.m. Monday, Maritime Electric's outage map was showing 3,602 customers without power, mostly in central and eastern P.E.I. The number of locations in the dark had topped 16,000 for a brief period earlier in the afternoon.

"Crews are out working to restore power and will continue working until power is restored to all customers," the utility said in a social media post. "With dark and rainy conditions, it is important to be alert and to slow down as you near and pass by work sites."

Environment Canada confirmed its wind warning would stay in effect throughout the evening for all three counties, saying the gusts were high enough to cause outages and damage buildings.

CBC P.E.I. meteorologist Jay Scotland said the wind gusts would start to ease later Monday evening.

"Peak gusts will continue until mid-evening, around 8 p.m. AT, with 60 to 90-plus km/h peak gusts possible. I can't rule out higher wind speeds for exposed areas," Scotland said. "The wind will begin to ease late this evening, but it remains brisk with a 30-60 km/h westerly wind overnight."

Travel was the first industry disrupted by the storm. The operators of Confederation Bridge stopped large trucks, buses, trailers and motorcycles from crossing at midmorning, and the restriction stayed in place until about 7:30 p.m. AT.

A notice on the Strait Crossings website warned that further restrictions might be necessary until 2 pm AT on Tuesday, however.

All Northumberland Ferries sailings for Monday were cancelled after the 10 a.m. AT boat from Caribou.

Temperatures are expected to swing back to seasonal in the next 24 hours.
Temperatures are expected to swing back to seasonal in the next 24 hours.

Temperatures are expected to swing back to seasonal in the next 24 hours. (Jay Scotland/CBC)

One flight was cancelled out of Charlottetown Airport in the morning and another was delayed. As of 5 p.m., one flight from Toronto was briefly delayed, but all other arrivals and departures were on time. Travellers and people picking up passengers are advised to check on the flyyyg.com site before leaving for the airport.

The temperature, which peaked at around 13 C late Monday afternoon, is forecast to fall to –2 C by early Tuesday.

"Tuesday will not be nearly as warm as today, but it will be sunny and seasonal with only a brisk westerly wind," said Scotland.