A few communities in southern Saskatchewan were left to battle the elements without power on Tuesday.
As a blizzard raged through the province, a wide-spread power outage occurred in communities in the southeastern part of Saskatchewan.
George Martin lives in Storthoaks, located south of Redvers and about 11 kilometres west of the Manitoba border. He said he was without power for about 36 hours.
“It was hectic trying to get everything warmed up, I did manage to get somebody that was already in Redvers from Storthoaks to pick up a generator for me,” Martin said. “We didn’t have enough generators for everybody but where the kerosene heaters are, they went someplace else and stayed there overnight.”
He wanted to ensure the water remained running on his farm.
On Tuesday, SaskPower said it was unable crews to restore power in the rural areas as it was unsafe.
“I know I went and pulled out a guy on the highway at 2:30 in the afternoon and I could see approximately the hood of my truck and that’s about it so there was no way that (SaskPower) was going to be able to go out in that kind of weather,” Martin said.
— SaskPower (@SaskPower) March 7, 2017
With the blizzard over, SaskPower crews are now able to respond and restore power for hundreds of customers in the southeast part of Saskatchewan.
Whiteout conditions made it nearly impossible for crews to immediately fix reported power outages.
“We couldn’t get out to respond. The conditions were really too poor to even see the road,” said Donovan Nelson, SaskPower’s director of operations and maintenance for the south region.
He estimated between 200 and 250 customers had their power knocked out by the wicked storm, affecting a number of communities in that corner of the province.
“A number of the customers were off for up to 36 hours down in that Carlyle area,” he said.
One woman reported to SaskPower the temperature in her home was down to eight degrees, Nelson added.
As of Wednesday morning, the majority of power had been restored, although Nelson said up to 50 customers in the Kipling area were still in the dark, with the lights expected to come back on around lunch time Wednesday.
Nelson said their communication centre called customers that were known to be without power and insisted many seemed to understand the challenge crews were faced with.
The main cause of the outages had to do with intense winds knocking around and swaying power lines. Some that had ice on them broke.
“It’s really a situation that can happen, Mother Nature takes over and we don’t really have much control. The key message is: be prepared,” he explained.
He said it’s always a good idea to have extra flashlights around as well as a wood stove.