Province advises precautions in wake of power outage, discourages travel to storm-hit areas


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Manitoba’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) is warning folks living in eastern Manitoba to take precautions in the aftermath of the season’s first winter storm, which has left many communities without power.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/10/2012 (3893 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) is warning folks living in eastern Manitoba to take precautions in the aftermath of the season’s first winter storm, which has left many communities without power.

Between 15 and 30 centimetres of heavy, wet snow has fallen in some areas, Environment Canada reports, with gusting winds creating poor visibility and dangerous conditions. A winter storm warning for the area was lifted early Friday morning as the weather system moved into northwestern Ontario. An additional two to 10 centimetres can be expected throughout southeast Manitoba Friday before the storm eases later this afternoon.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 people were without electricity in southeastern Manitoba due to Thursday’s autumn snowstorm, Manitoba Hydro said Friday.

John Woods / The Canadian Press Unharvested corn near Steinbach is covered with wet snow after Thursday's storm. The corn crop is expected to be a big money-maker for Manitoba farmers this year.

Most of them live in the Piney, Whiteshell, Falcon Lake and West Hawk Lake areas, said Hydro spokesman Glenn Schneider.

For those customers, especially in and around Piney, it may be some time in the weekend before electricity is restored, he said.

Thursday’s wet snow created icy conditions that brought down more than 100 power poles in the Piney area Thursday, Schneider said.

In the Falcon Lake and West Hawk Lake area, trees have fallen on power lines and must be cleared before electricity can be restored, Schneider said.

The province advises Manitobans not to visit recreational properties in the Whiteshell area this long weekend due to poor road conditions and the widespread power outages.

The province said in a news release that poor road conditions are making it difficult for hydro workers to get to affected areas to fix downed lines.

Hydro has brought in 150 workers from Winnipeg, Brandon and the Interlake to southeastern Manitoba to speed up repairs, which are hampered by Friday’s wet and windy weather, Schneider said.

“Obviously, there’s a tremendous amount of work involved,” Schneider said. “The conditions really create a slowing effect in how we can respond to it. The road conditions are awful. Accessing the areas are a challenge.”

Hydro hopes to have power outages in La Broquerie, Marchand and Beausejour regions restored sometime Friday, he said.

Manitoba Public Insurance has closed its Beausejour service centre location Friday due to the power outage and treacherous road conditions, the Crown agency said.

More than 4,000 customers in the Dryden, Kenora and Fort Frances areas in northwestern Ontario were without also power due to the same storm, Hydro One reported on its website Friday.

As well, MTS crews and technicians are working to maintain or restore service in more than 80 locations affected by power outages in eastern Manitoba.

While there have been some intermittent telephone and wireless service interruptions overnight and Friday morning due to power interruptions, MTS has maintained service to most communities using backup generators and battery power, the EMO said.

As of 4 p.m., landline services were restored in the communities of Vassar, Marchand, Richer, Little Grand Rapids and Paungassi, an MTS spokeswoman reported by email.

MTS crews and technicians are working with Manitoba Hydro to determine when power will be back up in Hadashville, Vita, Woodridge, and Menisino, she said.

“Our crews and technicians are currently working to restore service as quickly as possible in Jessica Lake, where we experienced a technical issue due to a power failure,” the spokeswoman said.

Telecommunication services may continue to be intermittent in the eastern region due to the ongoing power interruptions.


Updated on Friday, October 5, 2012 1:30 PM CDT: updated story about Beausejour MPI office closed

Updated on Friday, October 5, 2012 3:35 PM CDT: updates with warning against travelling to Whiteshell

Updated on Friday, October 5, 2012 4:11 PM CDT: adds info on telephone and wireless service

Updated on Friday, October 5, 2012 5:32 PM CDT: Updates with MTS service restored to some locations.

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