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Canada

Manitoba still working to restore power, under official state of emergency

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Tens of thousands of Manitobans are still without power around the province and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister hopes an official state of emergency can help repairs get done quicker.

Pallister said the move will allow for Manitoba Hydro to deal with the aftermath of the major winter storm that saw parts of the province get hit with more than 70 cms of snow.

“It is clear the tremendous effort to restore power and other activities will be ongoing for some time,” said Pallister.

“The state of emergency will help with that effort.”

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READ MORE: Thousands of Manitobans without power cope with difficult conditions after storm

The formal step allows Hydro to invoke mutual aid clauses.

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“This allows us to tap into our mutual aid agreements with neighbouring utilities,” said hydro’s spokesperson Bruce Owen. “Saskatchewan, for instance, Ontario, and northern U.S. states… where their staff and equipment can help us do this work.”

SaskPower has confirmed to Global News they will be sending crews to the province and they are expected to be in Manitoba at some point Sunday.

READ MORE: Manitoba Premier preparing to declare state of emergency after snow storm

Manitoba Hydro has reached out to Hydro One, Minnesota Power and SaskPower to request specific resources such as replacement transmission towers, distribution poles and specialized electrical equipment as well as crews to help with restoration.

Manitoba Hydro crews have been working around the clock to restore power, but over 37,000 customers were still left in the dark of Sunday morning.

“We’ve been able, overnight, to cut that Winnipeg area down considerably,” said Owen. 

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