Power Out, Highways Closed: Blast of Early Winter Cripples Southern Manitoba

  • Power Out, Highways Closed: Blast of Early Winter Cripples Southern Manitoba

Power Out, Highways Closed: Blast of Early Winter Cripples Southern Manitoba

Environment Canada issued winter storm warnings across the entire southern part of the province and advised that as much as 50 centimetres of snow could fall in some areas. "Concerned about tree damage and power outages as the foliage is still on the trees and heavy, wind-driven wet snow is expected". One (0.3 meter) to 2 feet (0.6 meters) of snow was expected to accumulate with winds gusting up to 65 miles per hour (105 kph). Multiple power outages knocked out power to not only homes and businesses but also to traffic lights.

Manitoba Hydro said more than 100,000 customers experienced outages across the province Friday - a record amount.

The Trans-Canada Highway between Brandon and Winnipeg is entirely closed.

Transportation officials shut portions of Interstates 29 and 94 and U.S. Highway 2 on Friday due to severe winter conditions and poor visibility.

"The combination of heavy, wet snow and strong winds will likely result in downed trees and power lines".

In an effort to streamline calls and try and minimize wait times, Hydro is asking customers to only call the Contact Centre in the event of a downed line or other emergency. "To take these pictures they're getting too close", he said.

Southern Manitoba was hit with an early major storm as a Colorado low moved into the area on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

There may be some pockets where farmers are struggling to get crops off, Kubinec said, but there's still the possibility what's left can be salvaged if the weather clears up.

"We'll have to see how things go".

The storm arrived so early this fall that most trees are still full of leaves, which are now accumulating snow and causing the branches to bear more weight than normal.

"As of this morning we are no longer able to provide estimated times for restoration (ETRs) on our outages due to the extremely high volume of calls we are receiving and the continuing deterioration of the weather and roads", said Scott Powell, Director of Corporate Communications for Manitoba Hydro.