From thousands without power to hundreds, SaskPower restores most electricity after hail storm

SaskPower says it has restored power to most of the people affected by a large outage in southeast Saskatchewan after a hail storm on Thursday.

Large hail stones rained down on large portions of southeast Sask.

Tornado warnings were issued by Environment Canada for parts of southeast Saskatchewan on Thursday afternoon. (Greg Johnson)

Southeastern Saskatchewan has had most of its electricity restored after a storm blanketed the southeastern portion of the province in hail on Thursday.

The storm brought high winds, flash flooding and large hail, knocking down power poles and damaging vehicles.

Some of the units are back up at the Boundary Dam and crews have spent the night locating and repairing downed lines and broken poles, according to SaskPower spokesperson Jonathan Tremblay.

"From a few tens of thousands of people out last night, we're probably down to hundreds," Tremblay said on Friday morning. 

The rest of the Boundary Dam is expected to be fully up and running later in the morning.

"There's still damage here and there that we need to address, including at the power station but it's not critical," he added. "We'll be able to fix it and bring everyone back online hopefully this morning.

At one point, Environment Canada issued tornado warnings. All weather warnings have now ended.

Storm chasers roaming

While the conditions may be a cause for concern for some residents in the area, they were a source of excitement for Braydon Morisseau. 

Morisseau is with Prairie Storm Chasers, based out of Calgary, but was in Carlyle Thursday afternoon. The group chases storms during the summer months and relays information to Environment Canada.

He's been chasing storms for the last eight years.

"Right now, the only inhibiting factor [for a tornado] is this morning cloud cover that's kind of lingering around," Morisseau said on Thursday afternoon. 

Tornado tips

"Have a plan and know what to do should these severe storms develop," said Terri Lang, warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada.

Lang said people shouldn't wait until a potential tornado actually touches down before leaving or seeking a safe area.

If a tornado touches down, Environment Canada advises that people go indoors to a room on the lowest floor, away from outside walls and windows, such as a basement, bathroom, stairwell or interior closet.

Lang emphasized that if there is a thunderstorm in your area, you should not stand under trees as it could be potentially dangerous if there is a lightning strike.