Power outages into a fifth day along the Bonavista Peninsula are prompting more people to visit a Red Cross shelter for warmth and a hot beverage, and a steady demand for bottled water in communities that have been under boil-water advisories, the Canadian Red Cross said today.
Newfoundland Power expects all areas affected by Friday's severe ice and wind storm to have service restored by late tonight.
The Red Cross says only about 10 people - mostly with medical equipment requiring electricity - have chosen to spend overnights in a shelter it established with municipal authorities in Bonavista, though increasing numbers have been dropping in to warm up.
Twenty-two Red Cross volunteers from as far away as St. John's have been running the shelter at a local school gym. They've also been distributing in Bonavista and Trinity North about 7,500 bottles of water donated by Walmart stores from Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor and St. John's.
The Canadian Red Cross is urging continued vigilance for fires in homes using alternate heat or light sources when power is off.
It says open flames like candles and fireplaces should never be left unattended and notes that generators can create deadly levels of carbon monoxide and should only be used outside and away from doors and windows.
Meanwhile, Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Fire and Emergency Services- Newfoundland and Labrador (Acting), said today communities are functioning well under the circumstances and that safety must be forefront in the minds of residents until service is restored.
"Fire becomes a very real concern for emergency officials during a prolonged power outage, as many people use alternate sources of heat to stay warm," Hedderson said. "People along the Bonavista and Bay de Verde peninsulas must be aware of the potential risks in order to avoid significant property damage or personal injury."
Residents are reminded that generators, barbecues and portable stoves, such as Coleman stoves, are to be used outside the home. The risks posed by the combustible fuels and the possibility of deadly carbon monoxide gases could have disastrous consequences. Residents should also ensure all flammable materials are kept away from any alternate sources of heat and use extreme caution when using candles. In addition, woodstoves and fireplaces should be monitored closely and children should be kept away from open flames.