Northern and central Saskatchewan communities that have been dealing with prolonged power outages this week following severe weather Monday night can expect to see rotating blackouts over the next 48 hours.

The affected areas include Prince Albert, La Ronge, Debden, Spiritwood, Big River, Beauval and La Loche.

Spokesman Tyler Hopson says the goal is to keep the outages to four to six hours in length, but there is no schedule available as to when or how often the outages will occur.

Hopson notes rotating blackouts have already been taking place today.

A wide swath of central and northern Saskatchewan went without power for over 24 hours from Monday night to early this morning — including Prince Albert, North Battleford, Meadow Lake and La Ronge.

Hopson says while the Crown utility realizes the situation has been an inconvenience, it is urging residents in the affected communities to practice conservation when the power is back on — noting it will make the permanent repair work easier.

Meanwhile, SaskTel says cell phone and land line service will be intermittent in areas where power has not been fully restored. The utility says it is working on moving generators around the province to impacted areas as its battery back-ups fail.

As of this morning, communities without either cell or home phone service included the Lac La Ronge Indian Band’s Far Reserve, Pinehouse, Sturgeon Lake and Muskoday.

Because the prolonged outages have affected the water supply in places such as La Ronge and Air Ronge, precautionary drinking water advisories have been put in place until further notice.