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Friday, February 1, 2013

9000 People Still Without Power

9000 are still off the grid province wide after a nasty wind and rain storm.

The large outages are in the Sussex and Rothesay districts involving more than 3000 homes and businesses.

At its worst, the storm left nearly 40,000 NB Power customers without electricity on Thursday night.

NB Power has brought extra to get the lights back on and expects to work overnight and into the weekend.

For the latest update, click here

Pension Board Will Have No Restrictions On Travel

Common Council doing an about face at a special meeting on the new shared risk pension plan. 

Mayor Mel Norton says Council will not be imposing any travel restrictions on the new pension board so that the Saint John plan is in line with the other provincial plans.

Norton is confident the new trustees, whom he describes as of the highest calibre, will act in a responsible manner when deciding on travel costs. He adds no matter what happens with the pension plan from now on, the city's contributions will not go up. 

Only Councillor Susan Fullerton voted against.

City Utility Busy Thursday Restoring Power

It was a cold night for 3000 people on the east side and uptown without power last night. 

The Saint John Energy customers were off the grid after power poles came down.

President and CEO Ray Robinson tells CHSJ News it was a complex fix. 

Robinson says its was difficult and time consuming to transfer all the circuits to new poles as they were erected on Bayside Drive.

 He tells us on Bayside Drive four poles came down and on Crown Street, one critical structure came down.

Quispamsis Offers qplex to Folks Without Power

If you are still without power tonight, the Town of Quispamsis is offering a warm spot to stay for its residents.

Trained volunteers from the Red Cross will be on hand at the qplex in the Moosehead Conference Center from 7pm tonight until 5pm tomorrow afternoon.

Bill Lawlor of the Red Cross tells CHSJ News the centre is open to anyone without power who needs a place to go in the cold weather.

Residents are also encouraged to bring their own drinking containers to the qplex where they can be filled with fresh water but,  pets are not permitted.

If power is not fully restored on Saturday, the centre may be kept open until Sunday.


City Roads Re-Open After Storm

The City providing an update on the road closures after the storm.

The traffic lights at the intersection of Westmorland Road and McLaughlin Crescent will be out of service until early next week.
A stop sign will be placed on McLaughlin Crescent.

City crews removed downed trees on Westmount Drive and Churchland Road but damage to trees in the City’s parks was minimal.

All other roads closed due to high water and downed trees are back open.

Repairs on to a watermain on Rothesay Avenue continue and motorists are advised to use an alternate route.    That work is not related to yesterday’s storm.


Utility Makes Progress Restoring Power

Progress is being made restoring power to thousands of NB Power customers still off the grid today.

The utility's website reports more than 13,000 are still in the dark.     That number includes thousands of homeowners in Kingston, Quispamsis, Rothesay, Darling's Island, Norton and Baxter's Corner.   

Over 5000 folks in the Sussex district as well which includes Kars, Havelock, Lower Millstream and Apohaqui.

At the peak of the wind and rain storm, nearly 40,000 NB Power customers were without electricity.

NB Power has brought in 25 additional contract crews to help restore the power knocked out mostly by tree branches hitting power lines. 

For updates on the number of outages, click here

22 year old Nabbed For Drugs

Police from Saint John and Rothesay along with the Mounties doing a search on St. Paul Street yesterday and arresting a 22 year old man.

The man faces 7 charges for trafficking drugs including Percocet and crack cocaine.

He was held in custody pending a court appearance.

Saint John Transit Is Looking For A Few Good Ideas

Saint John Transit will have more funding this year to make the bus service better after last year's cuts. 

It's looking to set up partnerships with neighbourhood groups with ideas on how to make riding the bus more enjoyable. The co-ordinator of this project is Sara Stashick of the Saint John Urban Transportation Initiative. 

She tells CHSJ News one example is the adopt a bus shelter programme with people in the neighbourhood keeping a watch against any vandalism. 

Stashick tells CHSJ News people are surprised at how open Saint John Transit is to new ideas.

Improvements to the bus service are expected to come into effect in April.

City Lawyer Named To The Bench

Saint John lawyer Marco Cloutier has been named to the provincial bench.       

Justice Minister and Attorney General Marie-Claude Blais announcing today Cloutier will join Judge Andrew LeMesurier and Judge Henrik Tonning as full-time provincial court judges here in Saint John.

Blais says Cloutier's appointment will ensure the timely management of court cases.

Cloutier has been a lawyer in this province since 1998 and has written extensively in both English and French.

In 2010, he was recognized by Lexpert as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 leading lawyers.

Power Outages Still Widespread

Alot of people around the province still don't have any electricity in the aftermath of yesterday's gale force winds. NB Power is reporting, as of first thing this morning, more than 20 thousand homes and businesses were still in the dark provincewide including almost 6 thousand in the Rothesay district. 

The power outages in that region range over a wide area from Hampton, Quispamsis and Rothesay through the Kingston Pensinsula and Grand Bay-Westfield to Browns Flat. 

Some people have been told they could be without power for up to 48 hours.

Acting Platoon Chief Roy Byers says fire crews were called to Bayside Drive early yesterday afternoon when four hydro poles came down. They're being replaced.

Bayside Drive remains closed between the Causeway and Red Head Road.

Greater Saint John Gets Mini Gale

It certainly conjures up memories of the Groundhog Gale just a couple days too early.

A wild day of wind and rain wreaking havoc throughout the Port City closing schools, knocking down trees and power poles and leaving thousands in the dark.

Those strong winds blowing anything away that wasn't nailed down.      There were a few tense moments uptown when it was feared large panes of glass from the Pedway might come crashing onto Chipman hill.    Luckily the windows were secured and the pedway and street were reopened to foot and vehicle traffic.

High surf east and west forcing road closures on the Causeway, in Redhead and near the Irving Nature park.

Many students were sent home early since their school didn't have any power.

You can also see pictures from the storm on our Twitter page, search CHSJ News.

Pond Hockey Tourney Starts Tonight

It's time to lace up skates and find your toque.
The 5th annual Tim Horton's Pavilion Cup Pond Hockey Tournament kicks off today.

Chair John Eisner tells CHSJ News the ice conditions are great but the rain and wind this week have created some challenges. Because of yesterday's storm, all games tonight have been pushed back two hours with a start time of 6:00.

He says the weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday couldn't be better.
Over 100 teams are signed up to take part this weekend.

The event has a long list of free activities including fireworks, ice sculpture, hiking and events for the kids.  For more info, click here