P.E.I. electric utility double-checking lists made after Dorian

P.E.I. electric utility double-checking lists made after Dorian

Maritime Electric is preparing for the potential of widespread power outages as Hurricane Fiona heads for P.E.I., with a spokesperson saying it will be "all hands on deck" when the storm hits.

"We don't truly know Mother Nature is going to hit us until it gets here," said Kim Griffin, spokesperson with Maritime Electric, speaking with CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin.

"People should be starting to get prepared if they haven't, they should be making sure that they are checking on their loved ones."

Griffin said the utility that provides electricity for almost everyone on P.E.I. has learned from past storms such as Hurricane Juan in 2003 and post-tropical storm Dorian in 2019.

"We've had a number of meetings today just going back again, checking on our list from Dorian. What worked, what didn't we do? What did we run short of?" she said.

"You think about pre-COVID times — well, now we have had procurement issues," she said.

One major thing the utility learned was to be prepared as early as possible, Griffin said.

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

"The crews that we had and many of the people that worked that storm [Dorian] are with us. And there is a ton of experience in our organization ready for this storm."

Leafy trees an issue

The biggest concern for Maritime Electric is the foliage still on the Island's trees as summer turns to fall overnight Thursday. The utility has already contacted a number of P.E.I. tree-cutting businesses to ensure they can assist in emergencies.

We are trying to make sure [that] people are rested and that they are ready. — Kim Griffin

"We've spent a lot of time making sure certificates and training and systems are checked, and our outage system and our back-up and our phone [line]," she said.

"We are trying to make sure [that] people are rested and that they are ready — and you know, that's a big exercise across our entire operations.

"It will be all hands on deck at Maritime Electric when this storm hits," Griffin said.

Maritime Electric has also started to contact off-Island crews to see if they would be able to provide extra support after the storm, she added.