Thousands in N.B. remain without power as weather warnings lifted

Wind chills across the province ranged between -33 and -45 as of Saturday morning. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC - image credit)
Wind chills across the province ranged between -33 and -45 as of Saturday morning. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC - image credit)

Extreme weather warnings were lifted across New Brunswick Saturday evening, but more than 12,000 N.B. Power customers remained without electricity.

Friday night and into Saturday morning, temperatures dropped with some areas of the province recording wind chills ranging from -33 to -45, prompting Environment Canada warnings across the entire province.

Strong winds continued throughout the day alongside some flurries, creating some whiteout conditions across the Northumberland Shore.

Ryan Snoddon/CBC News
Ryan Snoddon/CBC News

An all-time wind chill record was set in Saint John overnight Saturday with a low of -47. The previous record was set on Jan. 18, 1982 at -45.

The risk of frostbite is high and can develop within minutes in areas with wind chills of -28 or below, Environment Canada said in a warning.

"Watch for cold related symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes."

12,000 without power

As of 6:00 p.m. AT on Saturday, the N.B. Power outage map showed 12,698 customers without electricity.

The outages are spread across the province, with most being concentrated in the Moncton Riverview Dieppe region.

Ryan Snoddon/CBC News
Ryan Snoddon/CBC News

The outages have an estimated restoration times ranging from 6:30 p.m Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

N.B. Power spokesperson Dominique Couture said in an email to CBC News that the outages were caused by "high winds and tree contact with lines."

"Our crews are currently working safely and efficiently to restore power to impacted customers," said Couture, "Safety is at the heart of everything we do and crews are prepared to work in all types of extreme weather conditions."

Couture said some outages were reported overnight Saturday and new outages continue to be reported Saturday morning.

Travel restricted on highways

RCMP New Brunswick tweeted Saturday that driving conditions are extremely poor in some parts of the province.

Travel is restricted to emergency and service vehicles on Route 113 between Inkerman and Shippigan, and on Route 113 between Shippigan and Lameque.

The Confederation Bridge linking N.B. to P.E.I. closed to all traffic on Saturday evening.

Cold closes grocery store

Sobeys on Prospect Street in Fredericton closed Saturday after the cold weather affected its refrigeration system.

Sarah Dawson, a spokesperson for Sobeys, said the store will likely be closed Sunday.

"There is no danger to customers or teammates and we hope to reopen Monday to welcome customers back to the store," Dawson said in an email to CBC News.