October blizzard cripples region

Trees collapsing under the weight of heavy snow pulled down miles of power lines throughout the southeast causing road hazards and widespread power outages.


Photos and story  by Marianne Curtis

Mother Nature kicked into high gear during the first week of October when heavy wet snow caused trees to collapse, knocking out power to some areas of the southeast for up to five days.

The RM of Piney was the hardest hit with massive power outages over the Thanksgiving weekend. More than 120 hydro poles were down in the area around Piney alone. Some residents were without power for five days. There were also significant power outages in the Vita, La Broquerie, Woodridge and FalconLake areas.

As a result, the RM of Piney is encouraging residents to be proactive when it comes to power outages.

“As we have all experienced over the last Thanksgiving weekend, power outages are not necessarily short lived,” stated the RM of Piney council in a special letter to residents. “During a power outage, you may be left without heating/air conditioning, lighting, hot water, or even running water. If you only have a cordless phone, you will also be left without phone service.”

Because lengthy power outages can occur the municipality has a number of suggestions to area residents in the event this happens again.

“Residents can install a non-electric standby stove or heater that is not dependant on electricity to run,” council suggests. “Before considering the use of an emergency generator during a power outage, check with furnace, appliance and lighting fixture dealers regarding proper operating procedures. “

During a power outage, turn off all lights, except one inside and outside. Do not open your fridge or freezer. If the door remains shut, a full freezer will keep food frozen for 24-35 hours.

Do not use anything that gives off carbon monoxide, such as charcoal/gas barbeques or home generators indoors. Never leave candles unattended and make sure they are in proper holders.



Hydro crews from throughout the province converged on the area to clean power lines and replace downed poles to restore power to the region. 


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