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‘It’s been a little tough by times:’ Some P.E.I. seniors in provincial complexes went without power for at least 10 days after Fiona

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Charlottetown resident Norma Arsenault mentioned getting her energy again “could be like Christmas” and the hard-working linesmen could be like Santa Claus.

At Huntingdon Court docket, the vacations got here a bit early as a result of electrical energy was restored round 7 p.m. on Oct. 3, 10 days after the peak of post-tropical storm Fiona when the lights went out throughout the province.

Throughout that point, at Arsenault’s 67-unit seniors’ housing complicated a backup generator solely powered scorching water at one constructing.

When SaltWire Community visited the complicated, positioned on Hunt Avenue on Oct. 3 round midday, a Maritime Electrical crew was working on the nook of Hunt and Atlantic avenues, however the complicated’s two two-storey condo buildings have been nonetheless with out energy.

“It’s been a bit powerful by occasions,” mentioned Arsenault, who lives in 34 Hunt Ave., gesturing within the route of the family generator operating close to a rear entrance and surveying the scene from her balcony. “If the generator’s on, it means now we have scorching water.”

Arsenault nodded within the route of 28 Hunt Ave.

“They don’t have any. I really feel sorry for them.”

A household generator runs outside 34 Hunt Ave. on Oct. 3, providing hot water to one of two seniors' apartment buildings in the Huntingdon Court complex. - Alison Jenkins
A family generator runs exterior 34 Hunt Ave. on Oct. 3, offering scorching water to one in every of two seniors’ condo buildings within the Huntingdon Court docket complicated. – Alison Jenkins

There, in a garden-level condo, Joan McAvinn was sweeping her flooring, sporting a masks, as a result of she was recovering from COVID-19.

Out on the curb in entrance of her constructing, was a small, family generator. It wasn’t operating and it wasn’t connected to something.

“I adore it right here, however the final couple of days, it’s been actually chilly,” McAvinn mentioned, from inside her display screen door.

Her condo was dealing with the solar, which warmed and illuminated her condo a bit bit, however not all of the items have been so lucky.

The earlier night, she mentioned she bought phrase there could be scorching water for showers.

“Effectively, I’ll inform you, I loved it,” she mentioned.

A non-functioning generator sits outside 28 Hunt Ave. on Oct. 3. - Alison Jenkins
A non-functioning generator sits exterior 28 Hunt Ave. on Oct. 3. – Alison Jenkins

Emergency response

McAvinn mentioned individuals have been bringing meals over, however attributable to a well being situation, she will’t eat a lot of it.

“However they introduced beautiful scorching tea, espresso and blankets,” she mentioned.

Residents stayed constructive through the extended outage, however pals have been nervous. When Carol McKinnon discovered her 83-year-old pal was nonetheless at midnight on Oct. 3, she contacted SaltWire Community.

“28 Hunt was one of many final locations to get energy within the earlier storm as effectively,” wrote McKinnon.

Nick Woodford from Newfoundland Power holds an insulator outside 28 Hunt Ave. After 10 days in the dark following post-tropical storm Fiona, the seniors' complex had its power restored the evening of Oct. 3. - Alison Jenkins
Nick Woodford from Newfoundland Energy holds an insulator exterior 28 Hunt Ave. After 10 days at midnight following post-tropical storm Fiona, the seniors’ complicated had its energy restored the night of Oct. 3. – Alison Jenkins

By the point the Oct. 3 media briefing for post-tropical storm Fiona started, seven provincially-owned seniors housing buildings have been nonetheless with out energy.

Maritime Electrical spokesperson Kim Griffin mentioned these properties are in areas the place the infrastructure needed to be rebuilt, a course of that takes longer than different forms of restoration.

“There was a pair that’s been actually arduous to have the rebuild achieved,” mentioned Griffin on the Oct. 3 briefing. “It’s not that they weren’t a precedence.”

A tree rests against 28 Hunt Ave., part of a seniors' housing complex in Charlottetown. - Alison Jenkins
A tree rests in opposition to 28 Hunt Ave., a part of a seniors’ housing complicated in Charlottetown. – Alison Jenkins

When requested, Premier Dennis King mentioned on the briefing he didn’t know the way most of the seniors’ housing items have backup energy.

“We’re gonna attempt to do every little thing we are able to to assist them and we’ve kind of put in place a community of helps whether or not they’re meals or different issues to strive to verify these individuals are taken care of. Nevertheless it’s powerful days for them, as it’s for a lot of Islanders.”

SaltWire Community requested to talk to Housing Minister Matthew MacKay on Oct. 4 to be taught extra in regards to the province’s emergency storm response at seniors’ housing throughout the Island, together with what number of have been outfitted with mills, however his schedule didn’t permit time for an interview.

Alison Jenkins is a reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. She will be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @ReporterAlison.

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