Province warns of potential for more outages as rain, wind on the way for P.E.I.

Laura Meader/CBC

With more rain and wind in the forecast for P.E.I., on Wednesday afternoon and overnight, the provincial government is warning Islanders of the risk for more power outages. 

In a news release, the province is urging people to prepare for potential outages by charging their devices, filling up generators and keeping emergency supplies such as batteries, wind-up radios, and flashlights close. 

In addition, Islanders are being asked by the province to use extra caution while on roads and to check for updates on closures, the release said. 

The provincial operations centre will be monitoring weather conditions. Reception centres will be open in municipalities across P.E.I., the release said. 

Officials are reminding Islanders dealing with debris to place it near the road. If trees or debris are too big to move, the release asks that people leave it where it was found.

Paul Legere/Radio Canada

Progress in restoring power to Island customers is slow going as a result of poor weather Wednesday, Maritime Electric reports. 

As of 5:23 p.m. the utility is reporting more than 11,500 customers without power on its outage map.

"We did have quite a few areas that may have had a bump in power and loss of power for a few minutes," said Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin. 

"We just had some problems at the airport ... a transformer blew. We have crews patrolling. We have most of those people back on but we have crews in the east and west still clearing trees as well," she said. 

There are 73 crews working to restore power Wednesday, with 18 of those focused just on cutting trees. The province is supplying some crews of forestry workers.

Despite the training on working in proximity to power lines, Maritime Electric crews will be keeping a close eye on them.

"We don't leave them alone," said Griffin.

"We make sure it's our number one priority to keep everybody safe: our crews, our visitors here helping us, as well as making sure that our customers are safe as well."

About 175 Summerside Electric customers also have no power as of mid-afternoon Wednesday.

All schools were open on P.E.I. Wednesday. They were closed Monday, and three remained closed Tuesday due to a lack of power.

Some provincial offices in western P.E.I. delayed opening Wednesday.

The Prince County courthouse will be closed for at least a few more days because of a utility outage.

Tignish Finance Office, Tignish Access PEI, Prince County Forestry and Wellington Health Centre are all closed Wednesday because of outages or storm cleanup.

Maritime Electric has said some individual outages could be into the weekend before all power is restored.

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