The power lines near Estevan were shattered by the storm. Photo by Fay Bonthoux

ESTEVAN – Earlier in April, southwest Saskatchewan got whacked with a major blizzard that took out power for several days. This weekend, it was southeast Saskatchewan’s turn from April 22-23.

While Moosomin area got more snow, the Estevan area was hit with more damage to its powerlines.

Reeve of the RM of Estevan Jason LeBlanc lives west of the city, just off Highway 18. And that area got hit the worst. On Sunday morning he took a drive down the slushy highway and posted a video on Facebook that was shared 1,600 times by supper. In it, he noted over 100 power poles had been broken along that highway.

Reached by phone at suppertime, he said, “Anything west of Outram is back online, as of tonight. So they’ve done a great job. Anything where I live is kind of the worst of it, right where I live. They said it may be two days more yet, but they’re sending crews from all over the place, but their major (effort) is near Moosomin first. We can expect to see crews starting to show up either tonight or tomorrow in the area. We don’t know exactly where, but that’s what the plan is.”

SaskPower damage assessment as of 9:30 p.m. April 24, 2022. SaskPower

The RM didn’t have to enact its emergency plan, but it did help the City of Estevan where it could, clearing roads to access places like water treatment facilities, lagoons and the hospital. But roads in the RM were so wet with slush, there wasn’t much they could do in that regard on Sunday. There was also the issue of downed power lines all over.

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In a release issued at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, SaskPower said its “crews are hard at work in the southeast corner of the province following a powerful storm that hit the region yesterday and last night. SaskPower currently has 26 crews deployed to the affected areas, with more being brought in tomorrow. Road conditions continue to slow damage assessment and repair efforts in some parts of the region.

“Helicopter patrols will continue tomorrow to assist with damage assessment.

Broken power pole near Estevan. Photo by Fay Bonthoux

“Since last update, approximately 7,000 customers have been restored, with approximately 18,000 still without power. Some customers in the affected areas will remain without power overnight. Since the beginning of the storm, the SaskPower Outage Centre has fielded over 6,000 calls.”

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m. Sunday April 24

SaskPower reported its crews throughout the day continued to make significant gains in restoring power to the storm-stricken southeast corner of the province. As of 8:00 p.m., crews were able to restore approximately 12,000 customers. Since last update, the towns of Manor, Oxbow, Carnduff, Carievale, Gainsborough, and Arcola have been restored, with more restorations still possible tonight (April 24).

Customers still experiencing an outage in a community that has been restored should call the SaskPower Outage Centre for more information and to report their outage. Following storms of this nature, there is a chance for secondary services (the lines that connect homes and business to the SaskPower grid) may have sustained damage. If an area has been restored, and a customer is still without power, they should call the SaskPower Outage Centre. SaskPower technicians will be able to identify if the secondary has been damaged, and be able to assist with a repair. Currently, there are 12,188 customers without power, and some of these customers will remain off overnight. Communities expected to be off tonight include:

  • Frobisher
  • White Bear
  • Redvers
  • Storthoaks

SaskPower has brought in crews and workers from all around the southern part of the province, including from Regina, Saskatoon, Weyburn, North Battleford, Yorkton, Melville, and Swift Current. All told, 182 technicians comprising 35 crews will be dispatched tomorrow to continue the repairs, the company reported.

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