NEWS

Final Leslie power outages expected to last until Friday

09/13/2012 09:18 EDT | Updated 11/13/2012 05:12 EST
Crews with Newfoundland Power were out in force again Thursday to make the final repairs to outages that tropical storm Leslie caused on Tuesday.

As well, some customers have been warned they could spend another night in the dark, with final fixes not expected until Friday.

The utility said between 2,500 and 2,600 customers were without power early Thursday morning, with about 1,200 in the St. John's area. The rest were in other areas of the Avalon Peninsula.

While all of the feeders on the Avalon Peninsula have now been fixed, Newfoundland Power is left with individual outages — some of which have knocked out power to entire neighbourhoods in St. John's.

"We completely understand that it's still difficult for customers that are without power and it can be frustrating for them," Coughlan said.

"We're really down now to those individual, isolated calls. I call it going backyard to backyard, and that work can be time-consuming."

Leslie, a tropical storm that had winds that were as strong as 137 km/h, had hurricane-strength force when it stormed across Newfoundland on Tuesday. While Leslie was powerful enough to topple 18-wheelers in their tracks, it left substantially less damage than Hurricane Igor in September 2010.

Coughlan said Newfoundland Power's priority is to restore power first to houses and then to areas populated by cabins, such as Deer Park.

She said all of the utility's available crews are on duty, and that considerable work has been done, given that about 45,000 customers lost power during the height of the storm.

"When we stand back and look at it, it's really been about 36 hours since that wind stopped blowing [and when we] we could get to assess damage and start to safely making repairs, and you have two overnights in there," she said.

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