SaskPower helps Manitoba in restoration efforts

SaskPower is helping to support Manitoba Hydro during their large outage due to snowstorms this weekend. 

SaskPower confirmed Monday it is providing aid to Manitoba through the Mutual Assistance Agreement.

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In addition to equipment and materials, this includes 23 SaskPower employees supporting the restoration efforts in Manitoba.

Mutual assistance agreements have been established between utilities throughout North America, most commonly in severe weather events such as hurricanes or blizzards, says SaskPower.

According to the Canadian Press, approximately 20,000 Manitoba homes and businesses remained without power Monday in the wake of a snowstorm that the province's Crown energy utility said had left an unprecedented amount of damage to transmission lines, towers and more, and now says could take more than a week to repair.

"I wish I had better news to share," Manitoba Hydro president Jay Grewal said in a statement.

The Canadian Red Cross opened a warming shelter at the RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg over the weekend for up to 11 First Nations, which it said was necessary because of the potential number of evacuees as well as a lack of available hotel rooms.

Premier Brian Pallister declared a state of emergency early Sunday morning.

The move makes it easier for Manitoba Hydro crews to access private land and invokes help from neighbouring provinces and states — Ontario, Saskatchewan and Minnesota — that were being asked for workers, poles and even transmission towers.

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