Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan Residents Could Be without Power for Up to Two Days after Storm

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan Residents Could Be without Power for Up to Two Days after Storm

Article excerpt

Storms leave Saskatchewan residents powerless


PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. - Tens of thousands of people across northwestern Saskatchewan were without power Tuesday after a storm lashed the area with strong winds and hail.

Duane McKay, Saskatchewan's commissioner of emergency management, said that power was out in a wide swath from Lloydminster on the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary, east to Prince Albert and stretching north. That also included North Battleford and Meadow Lake.

McKay said the storm Monday evening downed transmission lines and towers.

"When those go down, that's significant reconstruction time to take place," said McKay.

McKay could not say how many people were without power, but he noted there are about 40,000 people in the Prince Albert area and another 15,000 in North Battleford.

SaskPower has called in crews from British Columbia to help. It said it could be 24 to 48 hours before power is restored in Prince Albert and there could be rotating outages. The Crown utility said it would six to eight hours before power is restored to Meadow Lake and North Battleford.

One of those lines in the Meadow Lake area was suspended from steel towers, said SaskPower vice-president of transmission and distribution Mike Marsh.

"To have 10 kilometres of line pushed down on its side just indicates tremendous force."

Marsh said most of the affected lines are also in rugged terrain, making repairs more of a challenge.

"(The storm) dumped an awful lot of rain," he said.

"In some cases the affected areas have had three to four inches of rain. It's extremely muddy and very difficult terrain, so getting men and equipment into that area is very, very difficult."

McKay said some homes in the storm's path were damaged, but there are no reports of serious injuries.

No tornadoes were spotted, although winds stronger than 100 kilometres an hour were recorded. …

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