Monday brings money from the province for storm relief | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Nova Scotia Power is working around the clock—except during thunderstorms—to restore electricity after Hurricane Fiona.

Monday brings money from the province for storm relief

From $100 for spoiled food to $200,000 for major uninsurable losses due to Hurricane Fiona.

In the wee hours of my third morning without power, I hear the loudest crack of lightning and rumble of thunder maybe in my life. We just can’t catch a break.

Later Monday, in an afternoon news conference, Jason Mew of Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office says the thunderstorms that rolled across the province this morning delayed recovery efforts for a few hours, but crews are moving “full speed ahead” now. As of 8am Monday, 80% of customers in Halifax have their power back, according to Nova Scotia Power. The rest of us are playing the waiting game for power, wifi or both—including the journalists of Team Coast, who are coming to you from the Halifax Central Library today.

At the post-Hurricane Fiona briefing, Matt Drover of NS Power says over 1,000 workers are on the ground, the electricity monopoly having brought in extra help from elsewhere in Canada and the USA, which is the biggest mobilization in the company’s history. He says Sunday was mostly dedicated to damage assessment using helicopters and drones, and today crews are rebuilding poles and getting wires up. The outages affecting the most people are being prioritized. Mew reminds people to stay off the road so NS Power crews have room to work. Over 100 Canadian military troops are helping clear debris in the province.

Mew says the widespread cellphone and landline failures presented a “challenge” for recovery efforts. Some cell towers are still completely without power, while others are on batteries or generators.

Mew says all fuel stations have power now, and fuel is being delivered to them with priority given to eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. He asks Nova Scotians to avoid unnecessary travel and not to fill up your tank if you don’t need to. He adds to check 511 for road closures.

Public school is cancelled again tomorrow, Tuesday September 27, for Halifax Regional Centre for Education, Strait Regional Centre for Education, Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial schools (CSAP) in its northern and Metro groups. Classes are cancelled for Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education and CSAP’s Centre scolaire etoile de l’Acadie for the rest of the week.

An 81-year-old man named Larry Smith, who was living on Hennesseys Island off of Lower Prospect, was reported missing Saturday afternoon. On Monday the RCMP called off the search, believing the man was swept out to sea.

Premier Tim Houston opened his Monday afternoon news conference by offering condolences to Smith’s family. He says the province’s current priorities are power restoration, wellness checks and getting displaced people home. According to Houston, approximately 181,000 Nova Scotians are still without power. Fiona’s financial impact isn’t known yet, but he says the cost is higher than previous storms.

Houston announced a swath of government funding for storm relief, totalling to an “unprecedented” $40 million. “I fundamentally believe that the role of government is to be there for Nova Ccotians when they need help the most,” he says. “I made a very personal commitment not to let the province down in this time of need.”

The new financial supports for individuals and families include:

  • $100 for every household that lost power for at least 48 hours to cover the cost of spoiled food
  • $250 for every person who has to pay for tree or debris removal from their property
  • an additional $250 on top of the existing $750 seniors care grant to help with storm repairs
  • $150 to all current income assistance recipients, including Disability Support Program participants receiving income support
  • $1,000 per household in emergency funding for people ordered out of their homes or who cannot return to their homes; people can register with the Canadian Red Cross online here or by calling 1-800-863-6582 between 8am and 8pm

Funding for organizations includes:

  • a $2-million fund to assist community centres with the purchase and installation of generators
  • $500,000 to Feed Nova Scotia and $150,000 in total for non-member food banks in Cape Breton and eastern Nova Scotia
  • $100,000 to Salvation Army and Red Cross organizations in Cape Breton
  • $100,000 in total to shelters in Cape Breton and eastern Nova Scotia to help with extra demand
  • $100,000 to establish a hotel fund, administered by Cape Breton Community Housing, to provide temporary accommodations for people in shelters who cannot go back into their homes
  • $150,000 to distribute support to families in need through the SchoolsPlus program; the support will come in the form of grocery store cards and access to food, where possible.

Details on how to apply for the money will be released by the end of the week. Most of the applications will be online.

There’s also a disaster financial assistance program for individuals, municipalities, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, which covers up to $200,000 in uninsurable losses. Applications for this relief are available online, at Access Nova Scotia centres, MLA offices and municipal offices.

About The Author

Kaija Jussinoja

Kaija Jussinoja is a news reporter at The Coast, where she covers the stories that make Halifax the weird and wonderful place we call home. She is originally from North Vancouver, BC and graduated from the University of King’s College in 2022. Jussinoja joined The Coast in May 2022 after interning at The Chronicle...

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