At least 250 000 were left without power after an unprecedented snowstorm hit Manitoba, Canada. Heavy and wet snow began falling on Thursday, October 10 and continued into Friday, October 11. The capital, Winnipeg, was prompted to declare a state of emergency following the destructive event. As of Sunday, October 13, around 32 000 homes and businesses remain without electricity.
While October snow in this region is not completely unheard of, this unusually harsh 3-day snowstorm has arrived considerably earlier than usual, meteorologists said.
At some point, more than 250 000 customers were without power. “In some areas, we have more lines and poles down than standing,” said Manitoba Hydro chief executive officer Jay Grewal. “Our crews are out there working hard, 16 hours a day, doing their best to restore the power.”
Premier Brian Pallister has declared a state of emergency on October 13, early Sunday morning LT. According to Grewal, the utility is already sourcing towers from suppliers in Ontario. “So really the challenge is the logistics — to get that equipment to the locations that we need, given the limited access due to weather on the roads.”
“Our government has reached out to Premier Pallister to offer our full support in whatever capacity is needed,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said.
Reports said most of the damage had been fixed by October 13, but only 80% of the affected areas had been assessed. Grewal has not yet confirmed the approximate time it would take for residents to get their power back.
Portage la Praire was one of the worst-hit areas, which still had a widespread power outage on October 13. Several First Nations had started evacuating elderly people into a Red Cross emergency shelter in Winnipeg.
“We’re optimistic as we see the number of houses that are having power restored go up and the number that doesn’t have the power go down,” Pallister stated.