Saturday, April 19th8.0°C

Rising temps, winds spell more woes

The forecast for some areas affected by the storm called for temperatures above the freezing mark as well as powerful wind gusts through the weekend.

Toronto — hardest hit by the storm — had 16,000 hydro customers still waiting for the lights and heat to be restored on Saturday night, seven days after the power went out.

But that's less than half the figure from a day before, while in the same time the remainder of the province saw its outage figure chopped to under 1,700 from roughly 6,500. In New Brunswick, thousands more were back on the hydro grid, leaving 8,400 waiting for power.

Meanwhile, the fluctuating weather resulted in see-saw progress in Quebec, where about 11,900 customers were in the same cold, dark, boat as of Saturday night.

Amid rising anger and frustration from those trying to survive without power, utility companies are pleading for patience, saying crews are working around the clock and that nothing else can be done to speed things up in what has become something akin to a war of attrition.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford took a bolder stance, saying there is now "light at the end of the tunnel" and that he believes the repair job will be wrapped up in time for New Year's Day.

"Hopefully by worst-case scenario maybe Tuesday all the power will be restored," he told reporters.

NB Power President Gaetan Thomas said it's hoped most customers will be reconnected by the end of Tuesday, but that could change depending on how a storm overnight Sunday impacts ice-laden trees in New Brunswick.


The Canadian Press

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