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Blizzard hammers southern SK

Ghostly blizzard conditions in Carlyle, SK
Ghostly blizzard conditions in Carlyle, SK

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

April 30, 2011 — An intense mid-spring snowstorm is causing power problems across southeastern Saskatchewan.

Strong wind gusts have downed trees in Estevan
Strong wind gusts have downed trees in Estevan

Places like Moosomin, Carlyle, Estevan and Yorkton have been hit with blizzard conditions, including wind gusts stronger than 90 km/h.

Gerald Cheng, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, said widespread power outages affecting local weather reporting stations are making it difficult to know how much snow has fallen, but totals are expected to be in the range of 10 to 20 cm by the time all is said and done later Saturday night.

“The combination of the snow and the wind makes this storm especially dangerous,” he said.

James Parker, a spokesman for SaskPower, said the utility is trying to resolve outages as fast as possible, but conditions are making it difficult.

“There may be areas where there's a downed line or a power pole that's collapsed in inaccessible locations that may make it difficult to fix the problem,” he said.

Parts of southern Saskatchewan have also been dealing with flooding this month, and a layer of fresh snow over saturated ground will make it hard for crews to reach some areas.

“The weather is causing some problems for us as we work to address outages, but we've got a lot of people on it, and we want to get to every problem as quickly as possible,” Parker said.

The system is pushing into Manitoba next.

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