Some schools are closed and opening is delayed for others as thousands of homes and businesses on P.E.I. are without power following a windstorm Thursday morning.
Power outages have closed Englewood Elementary, Mount Stewart Consolidated, and Donagh Regional. Other schools are operating on a one-hour delay. RCMP are warning they are receiving reports of trees down on roads, and are urging motorists to take care.
Before 5:30 a.m. Maritime Electric, the province’s main utility, was reporting about 3,500 outages. At 6:45 that peaked at almost 9,000. Since then Maritime Electric crews have begun to make some headway. At 9 a.m. outages had dropped below 7,000.
Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin expects the outages are being caused by trees down on lines.
Most of the outages are in Queens County, with some scattered outages in Kings County. The largest pockets of outages are focused in three main areas: the North Shore around Mount Stewart, the South Shore around Crapaud, and Charlottetown.
At 5 a.m. Charlottetown Airport was reporting steady winds of 54 km/h with gusts to 75. Winds had been blowing from the south at that strength since about 2 a.m.
A wind warning remains in effect in Kings County, but it has been dropped in Queens and Prince. Winds are forecast to ease by mid-morning, but will still blow at 30 km/h with gusts to 50 into Friday morning.
Confederation Bridge closed to all traffic just before 5 a.m., with sustained wind speeds of more than 120 km/h measured on the Northumberland Strait. The bridge has since reopened to all traffic.
Northumberland Ferries has cancelled its first two round-trip sailings for the day.
The day started mild, at about 11 C, but winds shifting to the west brought colder air and the temperature had fallen to 4 C by 9 a.m. it is expected to drop further to 1 C by afternoon.