Heavy snowfall in northwestern Canada left thousands without power

Kerri Ann Snyder Schloz woke up to this view in the Porter Creek neighbourhood of Whitehorse Sunday morning. (Submitted by Kerri Scholz)
About 5,500 residents in southern Yukon, northwestern Canada, lost power after a heavy snowfall Saturday night that caused trees to fall on power lines.

Marsh Lake was the hardest hit, but power was out “all over,” said Jay Massie, manager of ATCO Electric Yukon, “from Teslin to Tagish, Carcross out to Deep Creek and west towards Haines Junction.”

Some people were without power for more than 24 hours. Massie said utility crews worked through the night on Sunday to restore electricity, getting everyone’s power restored by about 10 a.m. Monday.

Massie said heavy, wet snow clung to trees, causing them to break and fall onto high-voltage main lines and lines to individual homes. He said they had “all hands on deck” with their crews as well as contractors working to clear and repair lines.

According to environment Canada, 16 cm of snow fell at the Whitehorse airport. The average snowfall for October is 18.6 cm, meaning the city got nearly a full month’s worth of snow in a single day.

Marianna Berko snapped this photo near the Crestview neighbourhood in Whitehorse after she lost power at her home. (Submitted by Marianna Berko)

Massie said property owners should look out for leaning and dead trees, which may cause problems in the future.

“Give us a call anytime … and we’ll come to have a look and fix those up,” he said.

Massie also encouraged residents to have emergency kits to help keep them safe for 72 hours.

“It’s not going to get your lights on any faster, but it is going to be helpful until we get there.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Bizarre winter weather in South caused by changes in atmosphere, not sea-ice loss: study, CBC News

Finland: Snowfall in central, eastern Finland makes roads slippery, Yle News

Russia: A hot summer across the Arctic, Russian meteorological institute says, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Heat stress that caused Alaska salmon deaths a sign of things to come, scientist warns, CBC News

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