SaskPower to provide update after 3 major power stations lose generation in Sask., causing widespread outages
SaskPower says large sections of the province are without electricity Tuesday morning, and power won't likely be restored until late this afternoon at the earliest.
The Crown utility is experiencing numerous power outages in different areas of the province.
Much of the city of Regina is without power.
A large area is impacted in regions just south of Prince Albert stretching east of Porcupine Plain and then down to the Yorkton region.
There is another large swath of power issues in the Weyburn and Estevan regions.
Power units at Boundry Dam, Shand and Poplar River power stations were tripped off this morning and SaskPower lost generation according to an update posted Tuesday afternoon. The company noted they are working to get those units back on line as soon as possible.
SaskPower is scrambling on two fronts to get back power, said spokesperson Jordan Jackle.
First, it's trying to assess who in the province is without power. Second, it's trying to figure out what knocked out large sections of the provincial grid.
"We know that the frost in the past number of days has had a pretty significant impact on our infrastructure out there we're starting with that, working back from that," he said.
"It has an impact on power lines, causing them to break and droop and impact other equipment that they're attached to."
SaskPower warned people to stay at least 10 metres away from any power lines sagging with frost and to not remove it themselves. The company also warned people against using a generator in an enclosed room like a garage or home.
Jackle said some of the assessment can be done by computer in Regina, but he said there's really no substitute to getting crews in the field to observe and examine equipment.
He said that anyone who has lost power should call the outage line at, 306-310-2220.
Jackle said this is key to helping the workers pinpoint the areas affected.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority said some of its operating rooms were still running at Regina General Hospital, including a general diagnostic suite, a catheter lab for heart issues, radiology and ultrasound. CT scanners were still up in Moose Jaw, Estevan and Swift Current. Regina was hoping to partner with a private clinic that was not affected by the outage for emergency CT scans.
Just before 11 a.m. CST, Regina Public Schools had cancelled classes at 33 of its schools, including all of its high schools, except for Sheldon Williams Collegiate and Campbell Collegiate, which still have power.
Regina Catholic Schools sent home students at many of its schools as well, except for St. Francis School, Ecole St. Elizabeth and St. Nicholas Schools, which still had power.
The outage has forced the University of Regina to cancel all classes today and this evening at its main campus, and the College Avenue campus.
Hannah Eiserman, a student at the university, noted today was supposed to be a big day for her.
"I have three final projects due today, and one of which is supposed to be handed in printed, and that's not going to happen, so that's a bit of an inconvenience," she said. "It's out of my control, there's not much I can do about it."
The Cornwall Centre mall in downtown Regina confirmed it would be shut down until power is restored.
Lots of people milling around here at the Cornwall Centre in Regina, which is pretty much shut down until this massive power outage is over. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skoutage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skoutage</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqr?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqr</a> <a href="https://t.co/Ix9Y8RGdOJ">pic.twitter.com/Ix9Y8RGdOJ</a>—@BryanEneas
"We went with one of the mechanical engineers and checked out the HVAC over at Lorne Street, because the batteries had to be on and that produces a lot of hydrogen," Almassy said. "We don't directly do any of the HVAC work, but we're involved with the architectural side of it whenever it needs work."
Almassy said it's refreshing to see infrastructure is working in the event of a major power outage. He noted people wouldn't be able to use their cell phones if their job wasn't done properly.
Beaudin said he was going to get his hair cut while he was waiting because he heard the razors were still working.
"[Time] is going by pretty fast actually," Beaudin said.
In Moose Jaw, city hall remains open thanks to a generator, however, indoor rec facilities are closed.
Meanwhile, one Regina chocolatier is spending the morning surrounded by large chocolate Santas.
"It's kind of creepy in here right now," said David Loblaw from Chocolates by Bernard Callibeaut. "It's kind of dark in here, and there are all these shadows of these Santas all around my shop here."
Power is out in Cathedral too. I'm in the dark with a 30-lb chocolate Santa. If <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skoutage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skoutage</a> lasts too long, I'll be forced to start nibbling ...<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqr?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqr</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CathedralVillage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CathedralVillage</a> <a href="https://t.co/cYFrLtjlhr">pic.twitter.com/cYFrLtjlhr</a>—@ChocRegina
Early in the outage, Loblaw tweeted a picture with a massive chocolate Santa Claus, saying he would be "forced to start nibbling" if the power was out for much longer.
"I'm all by myself in here," he said. "I told my staff not to come in. I'm totally alone with this chocolate monster."
Here are some other tweets generated during the outage.
People in downtown offices in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YQR?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YQR</a> during <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skoutage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skoutage</a> who didn’t save their work be like... <a href="https://t.co/CEWiN7yFxq">pic.twitter.com/CEWiN7yFxq</a>—@brenzens
Grade 5s are doing yoga in the dark this morning. Making the best out of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skoutage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skoutage</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PVSDproud?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PVSDproud</a> <a href="https://t.co/b8SmkIdoan">pic.twitter.com/b8SmkIdoan</a>—@MilestoneCougs
48 minutes without power. Co-workers have resorted to tribalism, management has taken over the board room, blocking the doors with furniture.<br>Warehouse worker have stolen all the complimentary mints from reception.<br>Screams echo the dark halls.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skoutage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skoutage</a>—@AngryReginaGuy