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Storm outages on track to break provincial record: Manitoba Hydro
The number of Manitobans affected by power outages over the course of one day is expected to break a record, according to a Manitoba Hydro spokesperson, meaning some customers left in the dark may not see electricity restored for a couple days.
A powerful storm hammering southern Manitoba with wintery conditions has knocked out power to thousands of customers. As of 2 p.m. Friday, 41, 490 customers across the province were without power – that’s in addition to 40, 949 customers who’ve already had power restored.
Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen said those numbers combined are on track to break the all-time provincial outage count of 83,502 customers to lose power over the course of one day, set during a summer storm on Jul. 20, 2016.
Owen said the impact of the storm has been significant.
“Customers, in Winnipeg included, have to prepare themselves that they may be without power going into Saturday and even going into Sunday,” said Owen. “This is a major event.”
“It has nothing to do with staffing, with our manpower, with our equipment – it has to do with the weather.”
Extra crews are being called to Southern Manitoba from parts of the province that aren’t being impacted by the weather.
“It’s all hands on deck,” said Owen.
The big problem is the heavy, wet snow clinging to foliage bringing down branches and trees which in turn have taken out power lines.
“They bounce on our power lines, our power lines come down,” said Owen.
Manitoba Hydro is reminding residents of the dangers of damaged and fallen power lines. People who come across them are being urged to call 911.