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Thousands Still Without Power After Newfoundland Blizzard

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NEWFOUNDLAND SNOW
Thousands of people in Newfoundland are still without power due to Friday's blizzard. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Daly) | AP

Thousands of people in Newfoundland are still without power due to Friday's blizzard.

Newfoundland Power's Michelle Coughlan said that 2,700 customers were left without power as of 1 p.m. local time and crews are working on smaller feeds and trouble spots. Earlier in the day, that number stood at 7,200.

At one point, 75,000 customers were in the dark.

Coughlin said they had hoped to have all customers back on the grid by noon on Saturday,

She said crews are working on smaller feeds and trouble spots. The major feeds have been restored, but crews will still be working into the evening to resolve the isolated issues.

While the number of people without power has decreased, there are still many people calling in seeking information about outages in their areas.

Newfoundland Power said they are unable to provide specific restoration times for streets and homes. They recommend people Tweet or call in to ensure their outage is logged in their system.

Holyrood generating station becoming stable

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro's Holyrood generating station started feeding power again after 2 a.m. Saturday.

Karen O'Neill with Newfoundland Hydro said that officials at the utility are still unsure about the cause of the downtime at the Holyrood generating station.

"We're still doing an investigation. Our efforts were over the last 24 hours or so were focused primarily on restoration," she said.

"Primary cause will likely look to the weather, but we will continue to investigate and do a deep investigation across the entire island system."

O'Neill said it is important for people who have their power restored to conserve as much as possible until power has been restored elsewhere.

"People have had their power out for a long time so it causes extra demand on the system, so we just encourage people to conserve where they can."

Officials were expecting the St. John's International Airport to be reopened at noon, but that time has now been moved to midnight.

Cleanup is slow amid the ongoing strike by airport maintenance workers.

Snow removal on streets making progress

Paul Mackey, the St. John's director of public works, said street conditions have been improving as crews continue to widen the driving space on roads in the city.

"The frustration levels might rise a bit with some people in terms of getting a lot of snow pushed in their driveways," Mackey said. "But we have to get this widened out, because ... if we get the cold weather and this freezes, it will be wherever it is for the winter."

He estimates that immediate street widening should be finished by Sunday but that some areas, particularly downtown, will need some additional work.

"We've got to start removing, by truck, [snow in] some of the narrow streets," Mackey said.

"We usually start down on Water Street of Duckworth Street area, and there will be announcements coming on that in the next two or three days."

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