Deteriorating conditions force plows off secondary roads; emergency shelters open up

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Ice and blowing snow are continuing to pelt Prince Edward Island even as April begins, causing widespread power outages and closing school for the fifth day in a row.

The corner of Central and First streets in downtown Summerside this morning.

Plows have been pulled off the secondary roads west of Charlottetown and will only be responding to emergencies.

The weather conditions brought down scores of power lines over the past couple of days in West Prince. The number of Maritime Electric customers without power has climbed to 4,500 in West Prince and 500 more in the Dover area.

"There is significant work to be done mostly in the west where there are poles down that need to be replaced," said Maritime Electric spokeswoman Kim Griffin in an email. "Poles are down in O'Leary and Sea Cow Pond that crews are focusing on and this could take all day to repair."

Disaster volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross are providing food delivery and other support at a couple of shelters set up in West Prince.

The shelters are at the Alberton Fire Hall, as well as at the John J. Sark Memorial School gymnasium on Lennox Island, where more than a dozen people spent the night.

The O'Leary Fire Hall is also open to the public for water and heat, but it is without power.

The Office of Public Safety tweeted earlier that the bridge to Lennox Island is closed due to the poor road conditions.

There is some relief in sight, however. The Environment Canada Weather Office has lifted the winter storm warning for Prince County. The storm warning continues for Queens and Kings counties but the forecast calls for conditions to improve this afternoon and into this evening as winds gradually diminish.

Organizations: Maritime Electric, Canadian Red Cross, John J. Sark Memorial School Office of Public Safety Environment Canada Weather Office

Geographic location: West Prince, Charlottetown, Lennox Island Dover O'Leary Prince Kings

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