Widespread power outages following the recent blizzard in Nova Scotia plunged more than 20,000 customers into darkness early Sunday morning.
At 8:30 a.m., 20,500 crashes affected more than 20,500 customers, according to the Nova Scotia Power crash map.
That number dropped to less than 4,000 by 7pm on Sunday.
Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Andrea Anderson said the weekend storm was the cause.
Most of the crashes began at 4 a.m. and were in the northeastern half of the province. More than 6,000 customers around the Sydney area had the biggest breakdown in Cape Breton without electricity.
“Severe, wet snow and high winds were the cause of those crashes,” Anderson said. “There doesn’t seem to be much down here in Halifax, but I think it’s a weird storm in Cape Breton.”
Anderson said he had mobilized a team from the ground to go to Cape Breton and work on the problems there.
Sydney Municipal Councilor Elton McDonald said the weight of the snow-covered tree branches was an extraordinary storm.
Although it is difficult to avoid such power outages when dealing with large amounts of snow and wind, McDonald said it is important to maintain equipment for use in the province.
The Mayflower Mall in Sydney also lost power according to their Facebook page, and was closed that day.
McDonald said he hopes all businesses and stores will have electricity restored by Monday morning, especially at a time when many are struggling with the COVID-19 epidemic.
“We need to open them as soon as possible, so I hope that will be a priority,” McDonald said.
Estimated recovery time for malfunctions will vary from noon to 11pm on Sunday Depending on the location.
Another power outage in Cole Harbor affected more than 4,000 people just after 2pm on Sunday. The malfunction map said it was due to emergency tax repairs and that most malfunctions were recovered by 6 p.m.
More than 30 centimeters of snow for Cape Breton
The winter storm landed in the province on Saturday morning, lasting overnight, bringing rain, snow and high winds.
Environment Canada Summaries Says the storm 32 centimeters of snow was observed at Sydney Airport on Sunday morning.
Other cities such as New Glasgow and Picto in the Northumberland Strait were about 20 centimeters wide.