Wind storm keeps hydro, city and firefighters busy


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Damage from high winds that downed trees and hydro poles strained the city’s resources Friday night.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/10/2011 (4194 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Damage from high winds that downed trees and hydro poles strained the city’s resources Friday night.

“We had apparatus going from one end of the city to the other. Our resources were stretched very thin throughout the evening. Wires down, broken poles, transformers damaged, mostly by trees and branches,” said Ted Kuryluk, platoon chief for the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service.

Numerous street lights flickered off, traffic lights were down and yet with all the calls, the fire department said they didn’t see an increase in traffic accidents, as would be anticipated in wake of the wind damage.

The City had about 60 calls to attend to, ranging from downed trees to fallen branches scattered throughout the city.

Three forestry crews were expected to be working past midnight responding to calls. Additional crews are to be called in Saturday to work on clean-up and respond to calls night crews couldn’t get to, a city spokeswoman said.

Manitoba Hydro called in extra emergency-repair crews to fix outages from the west end of the city to Dugald and Lorette, east of the city, the utility said Friday night.

High winds are knocking down trees and power lines along with them, spokesman Scott Powell said.

“There are a number of outages around the city. The high winds are obviously causing a problem, with trees falling down and trees falling on lines,” Powell said.

Reports of downed hydro lines in St. Boniface, East Kildonan and Transcona hadn’t reached him, he said.

But he said some of the outages there may be related to the fact that hydro stations in Dugald and Lorette were both hit with high winds and both stations were off line.

Crews were dispatched to those locations just before 6 p.m. Those stations handle 2,353 customers.

Meanwhile, crews are also working to restore power to 700 customers in St. Norbert and another 1,456 in the Westwood area, mostly south of Portage Avenue, between Country Club Drive and Westwood Drive. Those locations lost power shortly after 5 p.m.

“We called in additional crews. It’s going to be a busy night for the guys. Hopefully the wind dies down soon,” Powell said.

It could be hours before Hydro gets power back up. Crews are equipped with chainsaws to cut away tree limbs and once debris is cleared, only then can lines be reactivated.

Environment Canada has a wind warning in effect for the city. There’s a 30 per cent chance of showers with a risk of a thunderstorm and winds from the south from 60 kilometres an hour gusting to 90 km/h.

The forecast calls for winds to shift to the southwest and calm down, with gusts of 50 km/hr, later tonight.


Updated on Friday, October 7, 2011 7:31 PM CDT: Updates with details, quotes.

Updated on Friday, October 7, 2011 9:37 PM CDT: Adds city resources strained.

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