Thousands without power as Prairies plunge into deep freeze
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 9:03 PM -
Thousands of people in Manitoba are having to face this weekend's arctic blast without power, after yesterday's explosion at a natural gas pipeline 50 km south of Winnipeg.
The fire, which broke out in the early morning hours Saturday, is out, and no one was hurt, but Manitoba Hydro reported TransCanada had to shut off the supply of natural gas to the affected area while it conducts repairs. The cause is under investigation.
That leaves some 4,000 people in the dark on yet another freezing weekend.
The Rural Municipality of Hanover declared a state of emergency, warning it could be days before the power is back online. The municipality has opened warming centres for affected residents.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba are facing another day of strong winds and poor visibility as major highways vanish beneath blowing snow.
A large swath of the south of the two provinces, including Regina, Sask., and Winnipeg, Man., were under blowing snow or blizzard warnings, thanks to winds gusting to 80 km/h or more in many locations.
A stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway was reported closed Sunday morning west of Regina, while many other southern Saskatchewan highways were listed as fully or partially covered with snow. It was a similar situation in Manitoba, where Highway 1, along with numerous routes, were partially covered, with some routes leading to the international and Ontario borders completely covered Sunday morning.
With winds like that, wind chill values are intense. With temperatures dropping to -30°C in some areas by tonight, wind chills feeling like -40 are not out of the question, and Environment Canada is warning that intense cold will persist into the early part of the new week.
With files from the Canadian Press
TUNE IN: We'll have up-to-the-minute updates on this system as it moves through Ontario through the day.