12/16/2014 06:46 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST

Asphalt plant opening early as repairs continue on P.E.I. roads damaged by rain

CHARLOTTETOWN - It's unusual to pave roads in P.E.I. in December, but the province's transportation minister says that is exactly what's needed after last week's rain storm.

Robert Vessey says his department is working with a local contractor to open an asphalt plant in Prince County that was shut down for the winter.

Vessey says it's a necessary step as road crews work around the clock to repair the damage.

He says several kilometres of detour roads will be paved while long-term repairs take place on Route 2.

It could be six to eight weeks before the hardest-hit areas are repaired, including in Bloomfield, Tyne Valley, Huntley Bridge and along Route 131.

In some cases, Vessey says road workers are still waiting for water to recede before proceeding with repairs.