Freezing rain leads to widespread power outages in eastern Saskatchewan, emergency alert in Yorkton

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Freezing rain has knocked out power in a large swath of eastern Saskatchewan. (Submitted by SaskPower - image credit)
Freezing rain has knocked out power in a large swath of eastern Saskatchewan. (Submitted by SaskPower - image credit)

SaskPower says freezing rain has caused widespread power outages in the eastern and southeastern parts of Saskatchewan.

A 200 km stretch reaching from the Canora area down to the Carlyle area has been affected.

"Melville, Canora, Yorkton, that area seems to be hit the hardest with ice on tree branches," said Scott McGregor, media relations consultant with SaskPower.

He said the weight of the ice is causing trees to break and fall onto power lines.

A full list of affected communities is available on SaskPower's website.

Crews are currently assessing the damage, SaskPower said on Twitter. As of Noon CST Friday there was no estimate for when power would be restored.

Even once SaskPower has restored a primary line, people might still be unable to turn their lights back on if a line running from the primary line to a house has been damaged.

"Those will need to be addressed by an electrician," said McGregor.

"There still might need to be additional work once the primary lines are repaired."

According to McGregor, 27,800 customers were without power as of 12:15 pm CST Friday.

"That number is always changing as some come back on, other outages being reported and we find out about different areas experiencing an outage," said McGregor.

The Crown corporation reminded people to keep a safe distance to downed power lines and to contact SaskPower.

Emergency alert in Yorkton

According to Saskatchewan's Emergency Public Alerting program, the City of Yorkton has issued a dangerous condition advisory for its residents. Trees and power lines are falling without warning because of the freezing rain.

People are instructed to avoid walking under power lines and trees.

Freezing rain has caused some chaos in a Yorkton backyard.
Freezing rain has caused some chaos in a Yorkton backyard.(Submitted by Lisa Matychuk)