Strong winds pound P.E.I. during winter storm

Dave Stewart
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Cars, trucks, plows and blowers contend for space during snow removal Monday on Grafton Street in Charlottetown.

Life on Prince Edward Island slowly returned to normal on Monday after Sunday’s nor’easter.

Kim Griffin, media relations officer with Maritime Electric, told The Guardian around noon on Monday that power had been restored to everyone.

Throughout the day on Sunday, there had been small, scattered outages across the Island, the vast majority of them in the western part of the province.

As of 9 p.m. on Sunday, crews were working to restore power to 196 customers in 13 communities.

At the height of the outages on Sunday, the utility had approximately 370 customers in the dark early in the evening, between 6 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

Communities affected included Panmure Island, Darnley, Piusville, Central Kildare, Malpeque, Abram-Village, Elmsdale, Kensington, Rosebank, Dunblane, West Point, Ellerslie, Mount Pleasant, Urbainville, Tryon, North Rustico, Riverdale, Stanchel, Elmwood, Green Bay, Cymbria, Emyvale, Rose Valley, Bonshaw, Appin Road, Argyle Shore, Green Road, New Haven, Shamrock, Desable, New Argyle, Rice Point, South Granville, Cornwall, Hazelbrook, Meadow Bank, Mermaid and Millcove.

The wind was also blowing vehicles around, none more prominent than a Maritime Bus motor coach.

Several minor injuries resulted when the motor coach, carrying 33 people, slid off the highway in Travellers Rest and landed on its side.

Mike Cassidy, who owns the bus service, said the storm had all but let up when the decision was made to leave Charlottetown.

Cassidy said at the time the bus left the capital the Confederation Bridge was open to traffic and closed less than 20 minutes before the bus reached Borden-Carleton.

He said the bus had just dropped off a few passengers in Summerside and was heading down Route 2 when wind grabbed the bus.

“There was nothing (the driver) could do,’’ Cassidy said, noting that he had one of his most experienced drivers on board.

RCMP and the Kensington Fire Department responded quickly while Island EMS transported a few passengers to Prince County Hospital in Summerside.

RCMP closed the section of Route 2 until the bus could be towed from the scene.

The bus was one of a number of vehicles to slide off roads in high winds and treacherous driving conditions.

Strong winds lasted into the middle part of the day on Monday.

East Prince RCMP closed down a part of Route 2, between Route 179 and Route 125 on Monday in Wellington Centre due to a motor vehicle collision.

Conditions also prompted Parks Canada to shut down Gulfshore Parkway, from the entrance at Brackley Beach to the entrance at Covehead Wharf.

High winds and storm surge resulted in flooding in the area.

Parks Canada re-opened that section of road around noon on Monday although it was still advising the public to stay away from shorelines and cliffs to avoid safety risks associated with the higher than normal water levels, rough pounding surf and high winds.

According to Environment Canada’s forecast on Monday, winds were expected to gust up to 50 km/h through Wednesday.

Organizations: Maritime Electric, The Guardian, RCMP Meadow Bank Parks Canada Kensington Fire Department Prince County Hospital Wellington Centre Environment Canada

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Kildare, Summerside Elmsdale Kensington Rosebank Dunblane West Point Mount Pleasant Rustico Green Bay Cymbria Rose Valley Bonshaw Appin Road New Haven South Granville Travellers Rest Charlottetown Borden-Carleton Gulfshore Parkway

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