Sunday September 25, 7:42 am
Good morning. I had intended to get this update out last night but I’d been unable to access the internet via cell or Eastlink from about 2 pm onward, however, SMS and voice calls continue to work.
Safety remains the number one priority and concern. The damage to the province is extensive, especially in Cape Breton and on the North Shore. The Premier has called in the military to help with clean-up and recovery.
It appears many areas of Halifax South will not get power restored until mid-next week. Please see the graphic below regarding reconnecting to the power grid.
While the official word has not been given, I am doubtful garbage collection will occur tomorrow, there are still too many cross streets that are blocked. I will update you with the official word when I hear it.
Residents are asked to continue avoiding travel as municipal crews are out clearing roads and streets.
There has been significant tree damage and debris from the storm, residents are reminded to not clear downed trees in the municipal right of way or in municipal parks for safety reasons. Residents should not remove or trim branches near a power line.
Residents are also reminded to stay away from damaged areas and fallen power lines and watch out for debris such as sheet metal, glass or other sharp material.
HRM crews have completed clearing hospital routes, main roads and arteries. My colleagues in Public Works have cleared almost 400 trees since Saturday morning, which is amazing. However, there are a significant number of streets that remain obstructed across the municipality.
Continue to call 911 in an emergency.
Call 311 for downed trees and flooding (open 7am -10pm during recovery)
Call NSPI for power for downed lines 877-428-6004.
As a final note, the normal work of the municipality will be on hold for much of the coming week. Public works staff are working hard but need rest, and people are going to be dealing with their own property and personal situations, and much of normal business at HRM and throughout the municipality will get pushed off while we all put the city back in order.
I ask you all to remember everyone, from the clerk at the Sobeys, to the 311 operators, to the NS Power linemen are tired and doing the best they can, and now more than ever we need to treat them and each other with kindness.
Keep compassion in your mind and heart at all times, and be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
So now more than ever, please help your neighbours, lend a hand, be kind, and be patient.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall shortly after 3 am (24 September 2022). There are provincewide power outages and damage to some roads and other infrastructure. There is a local state of emergency in effect in Cape Breton Regional Municipality and Victoria County.
Nova Scotians are asked to stay off the roads and away from downed power lines. People should monitor local media for weather and safety updates and check with their local municipality for information about comfort centres and shelters.
The province has asked the federal government for military assistance with clearing trees and debris so that line workers can safely restore power. The province has also asked the federal government for disaster assistance to repair infrastructure.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall between Canso and Guysborough on Saturday, September 24 between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Strong winds and the risk of coastal flooding are forecasted to continue for the remainder of the day. Clean-up efforts are currently underway across the municipality and residents are urged to remain off the roads for non-essential travel while work crews focus on priority areas.
Tree debris and safety
It is critical that streets are clear of motorists, as this will assist emergency first responders who may need to adjust their routes due to debris and blocked streets.
Municipally owned trees that fall on private property will be removed by the municipality. If a tree falls in the right of way and is blocking or impeding traffic, a sidewalk, or a bike lane – residents should call 311. For their own safety, residents are reminded to not remove trees in the right of way on their own accord.
Crews are prioritizing clearing hospital routes, main roads and streets that are completely obstructed across the municipality. Municipal public works staff will be assisted in their efforts by external service providers to supplement clean-up efforts.
Trees located on private land will be the sole responsibility of the homeowner. The municipality is not responsible for removing brush and debris from private property.
All regularly scheduled Halifax Transit services will resume at the start of the service day Sunday, September 25. For all other transit updates, visit @hfxtransit on twitter.
Evacuation centres are open at the following locations:
- Canada Games Centre, 26 Thomas Raddall Drive, Halifax
- Acadia Centre (within the Sackville Public Library), 636 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville
- St Margaret’s Centre, 12 Westwood Boulevard, Upper Tantallon
These locations will remain open as needed and further locations may be opened if necessary. Residents can self-evacuate to these centres anytime; however, they are advised to travel only when it is safe to do so.
The evacuation centre at the Musquodoboit Harbour Recreation Centre & Library has been closed as residents do not currently require it for sheltering and this will allow staff and volunteers to redeploy to other locations as needed.
For any emergency situations, residents are advised to call 911.
Comfort centres are currently open at the following locations from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily until further notice.
- Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre, 1583 Beaver Bank Road, Beaver Bank
- Royal Canadian Legion Branch #58, 23566 Nova Scotia Trunk 7, Sheet Harbour
- Prospect Road Community Centre, 2141 Prospect Road, Hatchet Lake
These locations will remain open as needed and further locations may be opened if necessary. Residents can proceed to these centres anytime; however, they are advised to travel only when it is safe to do so.
Comfort centres provide food and water, as well as a place to recharge devices and receive up-to-date information, when residents are impacted by prolonged power outages, extreme temperatures or other significant events.
The locations vary depending on which community/communities have been impacted. Comfort centres are generally located in municipal facilities where they exist. The hours vary depending on the type of impact on the community/communities.
Helping support those experiencing homelessness
In partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia, the East Dartmouth Community Centre has been opened as an emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 23. Staffing is being provided by 902 Man Up.
Another emergency shelter is open in Sackville, located at the St. Elizabeth Seton Church, with Beacon House as the service provider. Staffing and food costs at both locations will be funded by the province.
Municipal staff and volunteers are still conducting wellness checks during the hurricane to check on the safety of anyone who chooses not to leave an encampment or outdoor sheltering location.
Parks, Halifax Public Gardens and Recreation Centres
As previously announced, all ball diamonds, sport fields and all-weather fields remain closed until end of the day on Sunday, September 25. Staff are assessing field conditions to determine if further closures are required. All recreation centres remained closed on Saturday, September 24.
Due to safety concerns, Shubie Park and Point Pleasant Park are closed given the presence of fallen trees as well as broken and hanging branches. Residents are still strongly advised to avoid visiting other municipal parks until any damage has been addressed, which may take several days.
The Halifax Public Gardens remain closed over the weekend. An announcement on reopening will be made once an assessment has occurred.
Municipal emergency and key operational communications systems are available and working well. However, like many residents across the region, municipal staff are also experiencing telecommunication challenges which is impacting coordinating community response efforts, like setting up comfort centres. Municipal staff are working closely with industry partners to rectify the issue.
Halifax Public Libraries
For the latest information on the status of all Halifax Public Library locations and services, please visit their website.
NS Power Update
As of right now we (NS Power) have over 800 powerline technicians, forestry technicians, damage assessors and others ready to go. And hundreds behind the scenes. Crews from New Brunswick, Maine and Quebec arrived yesterday, before the storm, to help with restoration efforts. We continue to assess and will bring in additional resources if needed.
We anticipate significant impacts in some areas and our estimated restoration times reflect this. While our crews will work as efficiently as they can when it is safe to do so, some customers could be without power for multiple days. In addition to addressing broken poles and downed power lines, further delays are expected due to washed out road and significant amounts of trees down on roads preventing passage to where we need to get to.
We continue to work closely with Emergency Management Office and critical infrastructure.
Resources for you and your constituents- 24/7 outage line: 1-877-428-6004 and our online outage reporting tool.
For more information on restoration phases visit: Nova Scotia Power Outage Map (nspower.ca)
NOTE ON POWER: If your power is still off after your neighbours are connected, you can report that, or report outages and also receive the latest estimated times of restoration via the outage map at nspower.ca or call by calling 1-877-428-6004. Call your service provider if your internet and phone are down. Reminder, the mast that connects your home to the power grid belongs to the building owner (see above)