Thousands lose power as howling winds sweep eastern N.B.

·1 min read
N.B. Power workers are seen in a file photo. The utility said crews are working to restore power to thousands of affected customers. (Catherine Harrop/CBC file photo - image credit)
N.B. Power workers are seen in a file photo. The utility said crews are working to restore power to thousands of affected customers. (Catherine Harrop/CBC file photo - image credit)

Powerful winds tore through several areas of New Brunswick on Wednesday, leaving thousands of residents without power.

The Sackville area was the hardest hit, with outages affecting about 4,000 N.B. Power customers Wednesday afternoon. In the New Maryland area near Fredericton, more than 500 were without power.

Winds began sweeping much of the province Tuesday night. By noon on Wednesday, a transmission line had been knocked out of commission near Sackville, N.B. Power spokesperson Marc Belliveau said in an email.

"We have patrolled the area and have had to fly over the lines to identify the issue," Belliveau said, noting it is "likely a branch or tree making contact with our lines in a remote area."

Other smaller outages throughout the province were all wind and tree-related, he said.

Dozens of Sackville-area residents took to social media to ask about the outages and to see which businesses were, and weren't, affected.

Many businesses, including grocery stores, banks and swim classes, posted notices on Facebook saying they would be closed for the remainder of the day.

Others, many of which had generators, remained open.

"I showed up at Home Hardware earlier to pick up some boxes and they had their backup power on," Sackville resident John Dale told CBC News.

Dale, who was playing cards to while away the time while he waited for his power to come back on, said the winds were fierce earlier in the day.

"My friend's house was shaking, she says," Dale said.

Later on Wednesday evening, Belliveau said crews had determined that a tree had fallen on the transmission lines and that the majority of the outages were resolved in the Sackville area.

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