SaskPower employees helping in Manitoba

Restoration efforts continue across southern Manitoba, while melting snow is causing rising river levels

October 15, 2019, 11:46 am

A Manitoba Hydro transmission line damaged in the winter storm on the Thanksgiving weekend

SaskPower is providing aid to Manitoba Hydro through the Mutual Assistance Agreement as Manitoba Hydro works to restore power across the province.

In addition to equipment and materials, this includes 23 SaskPower employees supporting the restoration efforts in Manitoba. At the peak, 100,000 customers were without power and many communities were still without power late Monday afternoon.

Mutual assistance agreements have been established between utilities throughout North America, most commonly in severe weather events such as hurricanes or blizzards.

Provincial government staff and Manitoba Hydro continue to deal with the aftermath of the major winter storm that swept a large area of the province, Premier Brian Pallister said Monday afternoon.

“While many Manitobans are preparing for a return to work after a long weekend, there are areas of the province still feeling the impact of the storm and much restoration and cleanup work remains,” said Pallister. “The cities of Winnipeg and Brandon will also host a number of evacuees for several days.”

Eight states of local emergency have been declared by municipalities including the City of Winnipeg, as well as the provincial declaration providing Manitoba Hydro with access to resources in other jurisdictions.

Manitoba Hydro has requested specific resources such as replacement transmission towers, distribution poles and specialized electrical equipment as well as crews to help with restoration.

Manitoba Hydro asks motorists and pedestrians to stay clear of crews working on downed lines.

Anyone coming across fallen trees and power lines should avoid contact and call 911. If power is affected by the storm, Manitoba Hydro has tips to help people stay warm and keep food safe at

Also, during this extended outage, Manitoba Hydro is reminding everyone to never use portable fuel-burning equipment inside homes for heating such as generators, patio heaters, barbecues or camp stoves inside homes for heating. Fuels used in these, such as natural gas, wood, propane, oil, gasoline, diesel, coal or kerosene, create carbon monoxide – a highly toxic gas that can cause illness and death.

If it is safe for travel, stay with a friend, neighbour or family member until power is restored.

As of this morning, 50 to 100 millimetres of precipitation fell in the central, Interlake, southern and southeast portions of the province in the past seven days. Most of the precipitation has occurred as snow in the western, central and Interlake region of Manitoba and as rain snow mix in southern and southeast parts of Manitoba.

Rivers, lakes and streams in south and southeast Manitoba, including the areas of the Roseau River, the Rat River, Vita, Gardenton and Joubert Creek, have peaked or are about to peak and are being monitored by officials from municipalities and the province. Localized overland flooding of low-lying areas continues.

There is still significant amount of snow accumulation in central, south, southwest and Interlake regions of Manitoba.

Temperature is forecast to fluctuate between 0 C and 4 C for the next few days and will start to increase up to 10 C at the end of the week.

This rise in temperature later in the week could start a gradual melt and increased run-off in the south, southwest and central parts of Manitoba.

Flows are expected to increase once the melt begins. Rivers, lakes and streams in these areas are being monitored by officials from municipalities and the province.

Levels on the Red River continue to rise on average between 0.5 and 0.7 feet per day along the Red River valley. The peak level is expected to arrive the Red River valley within a week.

High levels on the Red River may require some filling in of ditches along PR 200 at the north side of St. Adolphe to help prevent water from the Red River going into the community.

The Red River Floodway is expected to operate until the end of October after being activated at approximately 7 p.m. on Oct. 9, under Rule 4 to lower levels within the city of Winnipeg.

The Whiteshell lakes are mostly near peak levels. Caddy Lake overflow continues to cover portions of PR 312 but the road is passable with caution.