NEW: 15,000 P.E.I. homes without power

Maritime Electric warns power may not be restored tonight. Meanwhile Environment Canada says 15 to 30 cm of snow expected in western and central P.E.I.

Wayne Thibodeau
Published on March 31, 2014

The list of Prince Edward Island homes without power continues to grow and now Maritime Electric is warning it may be tomorrow before all power is restored.

Maritime Electric’s Kim Griffin says 15,000 homes are now without power.

The majority of those outages are in Prince County.

“This is the worst possible scenario for us,” Griffin said, explaining lines and utility poles are covered in ice and now winds are expected to gust up to 80 kilometres an hour over western portions of the Island – the area hit hardest by the ice storm.

“Crews will be working around the clock tonight but we would appreciate your assistance in informing the public that based on the current weather and forecast for the next 24 hours that we don’t expect to restore power to everyone tonight.”

A full list of communities affected by the power outage can be found at

Freezing rain that began last evening in parts of western

Prince Edward Island is causing power outages, road closures and loss of phone service for some.

The Office of Public Safety says the provincial Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to level 2, enhanced monitoring.

"Our safety messages are primarily for people to stay away from downed power lines, follow instructions from RCMP on travel restrictions, and stay safe inside as with any storm," spokeswoman Connie McNeill said in an email.

RCMP were forced to close some roads as Maritime Electric dealt with polls snapping like twigs under the weight of ice.

Police are urging motorists to stay of the roads and Kings County RCMP have issued a statement urging motorists to stay off the roads due to high winds and icy conditions. 

Utility poles snapped in the Wellington area at around noontime. As well, Route 143 in Forestview and Route 12 in Sea Cow Pond were shut down this morning due to downed lines. RCMP also reported several lines down in the Woodstock area around Route 2.

Polls were also reported down in North Cape.

The latest forecasts indicates that a winter storm warning is posted for Prince and Queens counties.

A freezing rain warning is posted in Kings County.

Freezing rain this evening will change to snow and blowing snow overnight.

A low pressure system slowly approaching from the southwest will drift east of Nova Scotia tonight and Tuesday.

Freezing rain will change to snow tonight and persist on Tuesday.

About 15 to 30 centimetres of snow is expected over central and western portions of Prince Edward Island.

The snow will be accompanied by strong northeast winds giving poor visibility in blowing snow.

Maritime Electric reminds Islanders to stay away from downed power lines and RCMP are asking people to stay off the roads altogether.

"Motorists are once again advised to stay off roads unless it's an emergency, because of the slush, ice, and freezing rain conditions which are making many roads unsafe to drive," says a news release from RCMP.