Winnipeg advance voting station evacuated due to dangerous downed power lines

Manitoba's post-snowstorm damage to trees and power lines has been hindering residents from casting their ballots.

Safety hazard has forced advanced polls in Winnipeg Centre riding to temporarily close, Elections Canada says

Tens of thousands of public utility customers in Manitoba and more than 30,000 trees have been impacted by the snowstorm that swept through Winnipeg into October long weekend, the city said in a press conference on Sunday. (CBC)

Hours after Mayor Brian Bowman declared a local state of emergency, downed power lines forced the evacuation of an advance voting station in a Winnipeg riding Sunday evening, Elections Canada says.

The Winnipeg Centre voting station in Wolseley is closed until further notice due to live electrical lines in the parking lot.

Staff and electors have been safely evacuated from advance polls at station 613 located at Robert A. Steen Community Centre at 980 Palmerston Ave, according to a press release from Elections Canada.

"We ask electors to stay away from this location," the release stated.

In total, 13 polls in Manitoba are currently closed or have been moved to new locations due to the October snowstorm, as of 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, including one other Winnipeg location in the Saint Boniface—Saint Vital riding.

Most of the closed polls are beyond the Manitoba capital, including:

  • Four in Churchill–Keewatinook Aski.
  • Three in Dauphin–​​​​​​​Swan River–​​​​​​​Neepawa.
  • One in Portage–​​​​​​​Lisgar.
  • Three in Selkirk–​​​​​​​Interlake–​​​​​​​Eastman.
Hydro lines, towers and stations, such as this transmission in Portage la Prairie, were severely damaged by the Manitoba storm that cut through the southern portion of the province. (Ahmar Khan/CBC)

"The Chief Electoral Officer has authorized the closing of certain polling places in Manitoba due to power outages caused by winter conditions," said Elections Canada. Its website has a list of weather-related closures which is regularly updated.

"Before heading to a polling place, make sure it is safe to do so."


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