Power outages cripple eastern Canada two days after storm Fiona

FILE PHOTO: A fallen tree lies on a house following the passing of Hurricane Fiona, later downgraded to a post-tropical storm, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada September 24, 2022. REUTERS/Ted Pritchard

PORT AUX BASQUES, Newfoundland (Reuters) - More than a third of customers the in Canadian province of Nova Scotia were without power on Monday, two days after powerful storm Fiona battered the east coast of the country, sweeping homes into the sea and leaving one person dead.

Fiona was one of the worst storms to hit Canada, and government officials have said it could take months before infrastructure could be fully restored. The army has been sent to Nova Scotia to help with rescue and clean-up efforts, with other impacted provinces including Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island being offered federal assistance.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flagged off a contingent of Hydro Ottawa utility workers to Nova Scotia, where nearly 200,000 customers, or about 38% of total customers, are without power.

Lack of power has resulted in long queues to fill gas at stations that are functioning, social media images showed, forcing closure of many public schools and government offices on Monday.

"Our crews worked through the night, clearing damage and making repairs," Nova Scotia Power said in a tweet on Monday.

"This morning we continue to work to get the lights back on for everyone that is still without power," it added.

Port aux Basques in Newfoundland was one of the worst affected by the storm, and mayor Brian Button, described the situation "like a complete war zone." More than 20 homes were destroyed and more than 200 people need shelter. The cost of damages "is in the millions (of dollars) here now," Button told Reuters on Sunday.

(Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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