A blown transformer left 690 Manitoba Hydro customers in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village without power Sunday during the coldest day of the season so far.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/11/2021 (193 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A blown transformer left 690 Manitoba Hydro customers in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village without power Sunday during the coldest day of the season so far.

The electrical failure occurred at 5 p.m. Sunday and lasted around two hours for most residents. Among those affected by the outage were houses, apartments and businesses.

"It was definitely a significant outage, but we managed to switch a good number of people over to a different energy supply quickly," Hydro spokesman Riley McDonald said in an interview Monday. "Most residents in Osborne Village had their power restored by 8 p.m."

One building where hydro wasn’t immediately restored late Sunday evening was an apartment block at 277 Wellington Cres. The power remained out in the 19-floor apartment due to localized damage linked to the transformer issue, McDonald said.

Apartment resident Clif Donaldson was without power for almost 11 hours, but was still grateful for Manitoba Hydro’s efforts to get his lights back on.

"It’s not easy to miss a dinner or be away from family to go work. They had everything back up and running for us in time for work Monday morning," he said.

Last week’s blackouts weren’t exclusive to Winnipeg, as some rural areas of southern Manitoba spent over a day without power. The main reason was the condition of roads after the Nov. 11 snowstorm.

Sandy Ehrich, who lives just north of Balmoral, said her power was out for 30 consecutive hours from Thursday morning to Friday evening.

"We often have short outages, but this was the longest in our 26 years living here," she said Monday.

Ehrich and her husband used a camping stove to boil water for coffee and played board games while waiting for power to be restored. Her neighbourhood received 35 centimetres of snow and plows didn’t arrive to clear the streets until Saturday, she said.

"Manitoba Hydro crews are equipped to drive on bad roads, but we have to make sure crews arrive to the scene safely," McDonald said. "The areas that got hit with the storm hardest were the ones that took the longest to repair."

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca