About 9,000 P.E.I. households, businesses without power 12 days after Fiona

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About 9,000 Maritime Electric customers still don’t have power on Wednesday morning —12 days after post-tropical storm Fiona hit P.E.I. 

The company has an online list that shows different areas on the Island, roughly how many customers still need power and when they can expect that power to be restored.

According to the website, the majority of neighbourhoods should have their power back by Wednesday evening.

However, places such as Mermaid and Johnstons River could be waiting until Thursday. Murray Harbour and Grand Tracadie are scheduled for Friday. Some customers in Stanhope could be without lights, heat or running water until Sunday.

The company said it would start deploying crews on Wednesday to focus on individual outages, including areas that just have one or two households without electricity.

Maritime Electric expects to have up to 98 per cent of power restored by Sunday — more than two weeks after the storm initially made landfall on the Island.

The post-tropical storm struck in the early morning hours of Sept. 24, causing widespread damage across the Island — fallen trees, destroyed crops, coastal erosion — and leaving 82,000 Maritime Electric customers without power in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

5 schools remain closed

More students are also returning to the classroom on Wednesday. While the majority of students returned on Oct. 3, a handful of schools had remained closed due to power outages or damage from the storm.

Donagh Regional School reopened Wednesday, and those who attend Cardigan Consolidated will resume class in a temporary spot at Montague Regional High School.

Prince Street Elementary, Queen Charlotte Intermediate, St. Jean Elementary, West Kent Elementary and École Évangéline are still closed.

Classes at École Évangéline, which sustained substanial damage, are being moved to L’Exposition agricole et le Festival acadien grounds but no start date had been announced.

Red Cross registrations increasing

The province has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to provide eligible households with $250 in financial support.

According to the Red Cross, just over 8,000 Island households have now received that money and registrations for the funds are increasing dramatically.

“We expected that … [as] neighbourhoods become re-energized and have access to their utilities that they hadn’t had early on,” Bill Lawlor, the director for the Red Cross on P.E.I., told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.

According to Lawlor, the support is only applies to primary residences, so cottage owners are not eligible.

“We really focus on the needs as opposed to the loss. I know there is a tremendous amount of loss but we’re really focusing on basic needs and that would be the primary residence,”  he said.

The organization set up a disaster shelter in Charlottetown for those in need of temporary relocation. The shelter closed its doors late Tuesday night but the cots, blankets and other items were left to the province.

“Individuals from the general public were not requesting specific support there,” Lawlor said, adding that in some situations they were able to put people like seniors and those with children in hotels.

Lawlor said almost $15 million has been raised for Fiona relief in Atlantic Canada so far, and a further announcement is expected later this week regarding how that money will be rolled out.

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