Northeast Communities Endure Prolonged Blackout

Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 15:42



A large portion of northeast Saskatchewan was without power for just under nine hours last night.


SaskPower officials believe a combination of a lightning strike and a technical malfunction at a transformer at Timber Cove caused the outage, which also sparked much shorter power outages in Prince Albert and several nearby communities like Birch Hills, Shellbrook and Spiritwood.


While those communities had to wait only 25 minutes or less before their electricity was restored, communities along Highway 2 north of Prince Albert had to endure a much longer blackout.


SaskPower’s Larry Christie says because repair crews were dealing with a very expensive piece of equipment at Timber Cove, they had to make sure their attempts to fix it didn’t make the situation much worse.


The power outage, coupled with the heavy rain, have been affecting the distribution of water in the La Ronge area.


Lift stations were flooded in the village of Air Ronge and the adjacent reserves — forcing officials to shut off the water.


Pumps were brought in to address the situation, and the water service was scheduled to resume this afternoon.


In the town of La Ronge, a number of lift stations were flooded there, as well.


In order to allow time for the lift stations to catch up, the water supply was turned on only intermittently in the areas that were affected.


There, too, the water supply was expected to be restored sometime this afternoon.