At least 250 000 were left without power after an unprecedented snowstorm hit Manitoba, Canada. Heavy and wet snow began falling on Thursday, October 10 and continued into Friday, October 11. The capital, Winnipeg, was prompted to declare a state of emergency following the destructive event. As of Sunday, October 13, around 32 000 homes and businesses remain without electricity.
While October snow in this region is not completely unheard of, this unusually harsh 3-day snowstorm has arrived considerably earlier than usual, meteorologists said.
At some point, more than 250 000 customers were without power. "In some areas, we have more lines and poles down than standing," said Manitoba Hydro chief executive officer Jay Grewal. "Our crews are out there working hard, 16 hours a day, doing their best to restore the power."
Inspired by @bearclanmb, which condensed patrol in #MBStorm to focus on outreach w/ most vulnerable in power outage, heavy snow, & sudden low temp. Please stay safe. Join @WpgNOWpatrol: Let's work together & keep your neighbourhood safe & healthy, & respond to crisis in #Manitoba pic.twitter.com/hTAd5CpSdM— Winnipeg N.O.W. Patrol (@WpgNOWpatrol) October 14, 2019
And it keeps on falling, another 10-20cms falling tonight and tomorrow. Will be a interesting drive to work tomorrow, roads are slushy, sloppy, and wet. #mbstorm #snowstorm #Winterpeg pic.twitter.com/grDXsmkUZf— Cory S (@June1469Cory) October 11, 2019
Premier Brian Pallister has declared a state of emergency on October 13, early Sunday morning LT. According to Grewal, the utility is already sourcing towers from suppliers in Ontario. "So really the challenge is the logistics — to get that equipment to the locations that we need, given the limited access due to weather on the roads."
"Our government has reached out to Premier Pallister to offer our full support in whatever capacity is needed," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said.
Ontario stands ready to provide any assistance that the people of Manitoba may need during this challenging time. Our government has reached out to Premier @BrianPallister to offer our full support in whatever capacity is needed. https://t.co/LKo6flMrFT— Doug Ford (@fordnation) October 13, 2019
Reports said most of the damage had been fixed by October 13, but only 80% of the affected areas had been assessed. Grewal has not yet confirmed the approximate time it would take for residents to get their power back.
Portage la Praire was one of the worst-hit areas, which still had a widespread power outage on October 13. Several First Nations had started evacuating elderly people into a Red Cross emergency shelter in Winnipeg.
via @PerilofAfrica Red Cross to open 2nd shelter in Winnipeg during storm statement of emergency: Hundreds of people are seeking shelter in Winnipeg after being evacuated from First Nations communities as Manitoba reels from a snowstorm that has left… https://t.co/97Yh0EyFoO pic.twitter.com/w9JpU10YRm— MarthaLeah Nangalama (@mlnangalama) October 14, 2019
"We’re optimistic as we see the number of houses that are having power restored go up and the number that doesn’t have the power go down," Pallister stated.
Featured image credit: Winnipeg N.O.W. Patrol @WpgNOWpatrol