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Weekend-long blackout, smaller power outages hit Snow Lake, lights now back on

Snow Lake went nearly two days without electricity this past weekend. Power has since been restored, despite another outage Tuesday.
Stock image of powerlines.

Snow Lake had some serious issues with electricity this past weekend, going nearly two days without power. Power has been restored, despite another outage Tuesday.

Intermittent short power outages were reported throughout last week, but the power went out for the community in earnest early Saturday morning, with most, if not all, of the power going out around 9 a.m.

Manitoba Hydro reported an unplanned power outage shortly after, affecting between 600 and 700 customers in the community, that would go on to last for the better part of two days. That outage would continue on until Sunday night, when power was restored to much of Snow Lake around 6 p.m. local time.

The power going out coincided with a late summer heat wave that brought temperatures up to nearly 30 degrees Celsius, leading to a heat warning being issued by Environment Canada.

No reports of heat-related injuries as a result of the heat wave and lack of air conditioning or electricity to cool down temperatures have been made.

The blackout took its toll on Town-owned facilities, with Snow Lake’s water treatment plant having issues with both the blackout and backup generators. People living in Snow Lake were asked to conserve water if possible to avoid overloading the system during the blackout.

Once the power initially came on Sunday, the plant was able to keep up operation using backup generators. The power did not fully come back on at the plant and the generators stopped working Tuesday morning, affecting the town's water supply. A precautionary boil water advisory was called for Snow Lake after the plant went back online due to the interruption in service.

“Power has still not been restored to the water treatment plant. After running all night, the generator has recently failed again,” reads a posting from the Town of Snow Lake Tuesday morning.

“Staff are working to restore power in order to resume water supply, but we are asking residents to conserve water at this time.”

Some locals took unusual steps to try and stay ahead of the blackout. At least one shift at Hudbay’s Snow Lake facilities was cancelled during the outage. One business, Cornerview Family Foods, sold much of its supply of meat by holding a flash half-off sale when it was apparent that the meat would otherwise spoil if left in non-functioning freezers.

The relief was short-lived - as of Tuesday morning, electricity was back out in some portions of Snow Lake following a storm that passed through late Monday night. Manitoba Hydro’s website stated that two separate outages had been reported in the Snow Lake area - one covering about 370 customers due to a fallen tree taking out power lines in the storm, with a second affecting less than five customers north of town.

Both outages were resolved by Tuesday afternoon. As of Wednesday, no power outages in the Snow Lake area remain active, according to Manitoba Hydro.

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