Lightning Continues To Cause Problems In Northeast

Thursday, July 13, 2006 at 13:52



It hasn’t been a great week for utility service in Deschambault Lake and Pelican Narrows.


The northern communities were without power for five hours yesterday — a day after going over 12 hours without phone, fax or e-mail services.


According to SaskPower’s Larry Christie, yesterday’s power outage was caused by a lightning strike to a power pole south of Pelican Narrows, which destroyed a cross arm on the pole.


Complicating matters was the fact lightning also struck a nearby SaskTel microwave tower, which added to the delay because the repair crews didn’t have access to their FleetNet phones.


Lightning is also believed to be behind Tuesday’s communications blackout, which also affected Sandy Bay and Jan Lake.


Meanwhile, some parts of the North experienced intense lightning storms last night and early this morning.


Saskatchewan Environment says there have been more than 34,000 lightning strikes in the province over the last 24 hours, and over 80,000 in the last three days.


Department officials are keeping a close eye on the situation in case any of those strikes develop into forest fires.


Rainfall has been sporadic throughout northern Saskatchewan this week, with some regions getting relatively little moisture.


La Ronge received 20 millimetres of rain early this morning from a series of thunderstorms that lasted over 2-and-a-half hours.