Two weeks ago, a blizzard blitz left the Maple Creek area’s power grid on the fritz.

The storm dealt damage to a large portion of the power infrastructure in an area.

The winter weather snuck up on parts of southwestern Saskatchewan, in a seasonally late blitz that saw power lines and equipment coated in ice and heavy snow elements. This combined with high winds and prolonged exposure to these extreme conditions over the course of multiple days lead to the collapse of many power lines and poles.

Providing some more details was SaskPowers Media Relations Consultant, Scott McGregor.

"It was very wet, very heavy," described McGregor. "It would get onto lines and freeze those lines and just encase lines in ice and that added weight combined with the high wind speeds was really what caused all of the damage."

With wind speeds that were reaching up to over 100 km/hr, lines coated in ice stand very little chance of making it through the storm unscathed. The scale this time was pretty extreme.

"So basically, if you were to take a 25-kilometre circle around Maple Creek, that's where the majority of the damage occurred," revealed McGregor. "All told, all of our three-phase lines in and out of the Maple Creek substation were taken down."  


In total, over 30 miles of power lines had to be rebuilt. This was done in sections ranging from 500 meters in length to five kilometres.

Over 600 power poles had to be installed to replace the ones that gave way under the weight of the storm's icy payload.

It took 22 crews and over 100 workers to get power restored to Maple Creek and the surrounding communities. All told, it took them five and a half days.

"To put down 600 poles and to restring that much conductor wire," commented McGregor. "It was no small task."

With so much manpower and materials used to reinstall power to the area, local stockpiles of supplies and materials used have been depleted a good amount. Thankfully, this kind of thing is covered by SaskPower’s budget.

The total cost of this work was not yet tallied at the time this article was written.