Manitoba Hydro customers slowly coming back online

Workforce of 1,000 staff now working to restore remaining outages

This article was published in October 2019 and may be outdated.

Over 1,000 personnel are currently working in Southern Manitoba, including in the Interlake, Dauphin and Portage regions, to rebuild and repair about 800 kilometres of power lines damaged in last weekend’s storm.

The storm crumpled over 100 transmission structures and snapped over 3,600 wooden utility poles in the Dauphin, Interlake and Portage la Prairie areas. The winter storm also caused widespread outages in the Winnipeg, Selkirk and Steinbach areas.

From Oct. 10 to Oct. 17, Manitoba Hydro received over 266,000 outage calls. As of today, 260,000 of them – more than 97 per cent — have been restored. As of noon today, 6,187 customers remained without power.

“Our work is now concentrated in the hardest hit areas, which include the Interlake, Portage and Dauphin areas,” said Scott Powell, Director of Corporate Communications at Manitoba Hydro. “Many of these areas are remote and the ground is extremely wet, making it challenging for all involved.”

Jay Grewal, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro visited the Lundar and Ashern areas today to talk with workers and see the restoration efforts.

Powell said despite conditions, crews are making progress using specialized tracked vehicles, and with assistance of additional equipment and personnel from SaskPower, HydroOne and Minnesota Power. He said as of today, crews have replaced almost 1,100 poles and already repaired approximately 160 kilometres of power lines.

“More importantly, we’ve also restored two damaged transmission lines that were preventing power transmission into the impacted areas,” Powell said. “Work to repair four other damaged transmission lines continues, although there are no customers outages associated with those repairs.”

Reconstruction efforts continue to focus on a number of remote First Nations communities that remain without power. The sheer extent of the damage in some affected areas means in some cases Manitoba Hydro may not be able to restore power to all customers until the week of October 21, assuming no further major damage to the electrical system in those areas is discovered.

“We’re extremely humbled by the outpouring of support our crews are getting from Manitobans,” Powell said. “That supports tells us how vital it is we continue with our rebuilding our system so people can return home and return to normal.

By the numbers - heavy equipment involved in restoration (Manitoba Hydro, partner utilities and private contractors):

  • Tracked diggers – 30
  • Wheeled diggers – 53
  • Skid steers – 53
  • Bucket trucks – 97
  • Flex tracks – 28

Damaged power lines replaced to date:

  • 28.3 per cent of poles
  • 31 per cent of cross arms
  • 15.5 per cent of pole transformers

Customers can get the latest information on power outages and report them online from their smart phones.

They can also follow Manitoba Hydro on social media:

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Owen – Media Relations Officer
Cell. 204-794-8270

Scott Powell — Director, Corporate Communications
Cell. 204-299-8849