In every season in Manitoba, storms can affect thousands of customers at a time. Severe weather can develop without warning and affect the power supply as well as create dangerous situations.
Know what to do during extreme weather and how to respond to dangerous situations.
- Be prepared for a power outage;
- Downed power lines;
- Ice on power lines;
- Pole fires;
- Power restoration.
High wind conditions can cause power outages in a number of ways. While wind can push over hydro poles, often the problem can be due to nearby trees.
If you see a tree touching a power line do not go near it. Know that:
- A tree touching a power line can be energized; stay away from it and from anything the line may be touching.
- Power lines knocked down by a broken tree branch may still carry an electrical charge;
- Never attempt to remove tree limbs from power lines.
Every year, there are a significant number of outages due to trees coming into contact with power lines. Many of these outages could be prevented by planning landscaping projects to ensure trees on your property will not grow too close to power lines. Before you plant a tree, look up. If it appears that your tree will eventually hit an overhead power line, try to find a location that will not cause problems in the future.
Parkland Storm Power Restoration
In June 2012, a severe storm passed through the Parkland area. It caused significant damage to Manitoba Hydro infrastructure, primarily in the Russell, Dauphin and Swan River areas.
Winnipeg Storm Power Restoration
In July 2012, a Sunday evening storm ripped through Winnipeg and surrounding areas. The next morning, we caught up with crews working along Kingston Row in St. Vital.
A winter storm can strike quickly, making proper planning a must. Your home heating system can fail due to a power outage, so take these precautions:
- Call 204-480-5900 in Winnipeg or 1-888-624-9376 outside Winnipeg to report the outage. Telephone lines or cell phones may be out of service during or after an emergency. Visit the Public Safety Canada website to learn how properly plan with your family.
- Stay calm. Your house will remain warm for several hours.
- Avoid opening doors.
- If you have an alternate heat source, use it before the house cools. Maintain adequate ventilation.
- Natural gas furnaces do not have to be turned off. They should operate when the power is restored.
- Most natural gas fireplaces will operate the burner without a power source. Refer to your appliance manufacturer instructions.
- If pipes are in danger of freezing, turn off the main water valve and drain the line by running taps. Put plumbing antifreeze in toilet bowls, sinks and bathtub drains. Turn off and drain your water heater by connecting a hose to the drainage tap on the tank. Empty into the basement drain.
A standby electric generator can restore electricity within minutes.
South East Manitoba Storm Power Restoration
A look at some of the equipment repairs our crews were working on during and after a storm in October 2012.
When heavy snowstorms and high winds sweep through an area, ice builds up and can affect the power supply. Ice build-up on power lines must be removed to protect against power outages. We encourage you to be patient as our crews work to repair damaged lines. We will try to restore your power as soon as possible.
- Call us at 204-480-5900 in Winnipeg or 1-888-624-9376 outside Winnipeg if you notice excessive ice build-up on a section of lines or leaning or snapped poles or to report any downed lines immediately.
- Stay clear of low or sagging lines and remember that travelling under these lines can be dangerous.
- Treat any downed line as though it is energized and keep others away. Never attempt to move or repair lines or remove tree branches.
- If your vehicle accidentally makes contact with a downed line, do not get out of it. Instead, back slowly away from the line or wait for help to arrive. Read more about what to do if your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line.
If the power is out for an extended time, stay tuned to your battery-operated radio for updates on the repairs.