Manitoba

Manitoba Hydro scrambles to restore power in rural communities after storm

Close to 3,200 Manitoba Hydro customers have been left without power following a summer storm that pummelled southern Manitoba with strong winds and at least two tornadoes on Wednesday night.

Extra crews sent to Morden, Winkler, Steinbach, Lac du Bonnet areas

Trees cover a street in Winkler, Man., after Wednesday's storm. (Jeremy Harder/Twitter @jertam1)

Close to 3,200 Manitoba Hydro customers have been left without power following a summer storm that pummelled southern Manitoba with strong winds and at least two tornadoes on Wednesday night.

Extra repair crews have been sent to the Morden, Winkler, Steinbach and Lac du Bonnet areas.

In the Morden area, seven hydro poles have to be replaced and another 10 that need to be straightened out, said Hydro spokesman Scott Powell.

"A lot of damage to the system; there are multiple calls, widespread," Powell told CBC News on Thursday morning.

"The Morden area, we've got a lot of additional crews in there right now assisting with pole replacement, putting up downed wires, all that sort of stuff, so there's a fair bit of damage."

It was the second tornado-producing storm in southern Manitoba in 15 days. A storm on July 20 produced an EF 1 tornado at Long Plain First Nation and knocked out power to thousands of Manitoba Hydro customers.

Powell said while there were some lightning strikes on Wednesday, the biggest problem facing Hydro crews was trees falling onto power lines.

"A lot of trees may have been weakened from the storm last week, and you get a little bit of wind in an area, and they're already weakened and they'll snap and, in many cases, they'll end up coming down on lines we may have already repaired last week."

Powell said crews are also working to restore power to about 900 customers in the Parklands area.

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