The following storm update was issued at 7:30 p.m. today by the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Measures Organization:
Post Tropical Storm Arthur has resulted in unprecedented power and telecommunications outages throughout the province. Government and key stakeholders are committing all available resources to restoring services. Restoration work is being done with a strategic, priority-based approach. The priorities are health and safety, telecommunications, securing food, fuel and cash distribution, and getting industry back to work.
The Emergency Measures Organization is asking for the public to remain calm, patient and understanding as unprecedented restoration work continues, which will take an extended period of time.
Power line and tree trimming crews continue to make progress restoring power to critical infrastructure. For information on outages residents should visit the NB Power website.
Telecommunications crews are also out doing repairs to cellular and telecommunications networks. Because of outages some areas of the province are experiencing a lack of cellular and landline services. Because most telecom services are power-dependent, residents can anticipate restoration of services as power is turned on. Residents who do not have the use of a phone and feel unsafe, are advised to temporarily move to a safer location.
Prevent Heat Related Illness
Hot humid conditions are forecast for Tuesday and the Department of Health is advising residents to take the following precautions:
- drink plenty of fluids, especially water, before feeling thirsty;
- plan outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day;
- avoid exposure to the sun. If you must be outside, use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or higher, wear light-coloured clothing and a wide-brimmed hat;
- limit physical activity and pace yourself carefully;
- never leave someone or a pet inside a parked car or in direct sunlight;
- spend a few hours in a cool place (mall, library, shaded park or a pool);
- electric fans alone may not provide enough cooling to prevent heat illness when the temperature and humidity are high – a cool bath or shower is a more effective way to cool off;
- keep windows closed as much as possible if the temperature outside is higher than it is inside; and
- keep sun out with curtains or blinds.
- Residents are encouraged to check on their neighbours, especially the elderly to make sure they are healthy and safe.
- If you have no power, do not open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. If the door remains closed, a full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours without electricity. These products can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present. All perishable food in a refrigerator without electricity for more than 24 hours should be discarded.
- For emergency situations call 911. New Brunswick 911 centres are answering too many calls that are not emergency related. Residents are asked to only call 911 for emergencies. If you have a storm-related problem that is not an emergency, please contact your local municipal Emergency Operations Centre.
- Residents are urged to stay clear of downed lines. Do not attempt to clear broken branches or trees from roadways or property as they could contain hidden power lines.
- Never run generators inside a home or cook with an open flame, as these activities create carbon monoxide which can become dangerous.
- Be cautious while driving, there are still many roads covered or blocked by damaged trees and debris. Residents should not cross washed out or water covered roads.
- Residents are advised to carry cash when going out to purchase supplies. Power outages are affecting many debit/credit card terminals and may not be functional.
Reception centres have been opened to allow residents a chance to charge their phones and electronic devices. These centres are located at:
- City of Fredericton – Grant Harvey and Willie O’Ree Rec Centres from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Bulk water is available at both locations.
- Oromocto – Town of Oromocto Municipal Building Centre – from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. today.
- Town of Meductic Fire Hall (24/7)
- Town of Belledune open until 8 p.m. today. Reopens 8 a.m. Tuesday if required.
- Town of Miramichi – Golden Hawk Recreation Centre – 12-10 p.m.
- Town of Woodstock Firehall – open 24/7
- Town of Centreville Firehall – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Perth-Andover Civic Centre – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Town of Bath Firehall – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Plaster Rock Tobique Plex – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Residents are encouraged to monitor Public Alerts for further updates. For information on what to do during and immediately after a power outage, visit the Get Prepared website.
The Red Cross has activated a toll-free emergency social services number. If you have social services needs please call 1-800-222-9597.