Cleaning up turned into a big job Monday after a wind storm howled through southern Saskatchewan on Sunday.
The original forecast for the wind warning was wind at 60 kilometres per hour, gusting to 90, and lasting into the evening – but the storm ended up bigger.
The storm went longer, dragging on until three or four in the morning in some places in the southeast. Wind gusts got a lot higher than predicted, according to Environment Canada. Gusts in Leader peaked at 109 km/h, in Estevan they hit 113 km/h, and Moose Jaw they got to 100 km/h. But Swift Current was the worst, with wind gusts topping 120 km/h.
It’s just wind, but it managed to do a lot of damage. People in Swift Current reported shingles torn from roofs and grain bins blowing over, and people on the highway reported trucks being blown over and hay bales blowing across the highway.
Some people had to make do with only candles to keep them company against the howling wind, because the storm caused several power outages.
“It’s been a long day for our guys in the field,” said Jonathan Tremblay, SaskPower spokesperson.
The main causes of those outages, according to Tremblay, were downed lines and snapped poles – crews saw some of that in the southwest.
Trees falling on lines was also a problem. Tremblay said that caused outages for the Kenaston and Davidson areas, as well as in Weyburn.
Power to most areas was back up by morning, though in some cases the fixes had to be temporary. Some areas may experience planned outages later in the week as crews make the fixes more permanent.
On Monday morning, Tremblay said the Crown Corp. still needed to survey the extent of the damage.
“A lot of these fixes we were doing in the dark basically, in the rain. So we still need to figure out how extensive the damage is in some of these places. It might be as simple as a five-minute fix, or it could take longer.”
According to Tremblay, SaskPower’s call center fielded more than 6,000 calls during the storm.