updated at 2:01 p.m.
The lights began to go out in Saskatchewan around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, and by 9:00 a.m., large swaths of the province were without power.
The outages were caused in part by a loss of power generation due to the power units at Boundary Dam, Shand and Poplar River Power Stations being tripped off.
The first outages were reported by SaskPower in the Humboldt and Wadena area, and they quickly spread to other regions. The southeast began losing power in the Estevan area, and in rural communities along their grid. Next, Weyburn lost power by 9:00 a.m., with Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current and other communities across southern Saskatchewan losing power shortly after 9:00 a.m.
The Crown power company has stated the weather was a partial cause of the outage, as a heavy build-up of frost and ice in recent weeks played a role in some of the issues seen. Crews were able to restore power in some areas late in the morning, including Weyburn, but not all areas had power back on immediately. SaskPower anticipated the power would be restored in the later afternoon for some areas.
The frost is causing lines to fall and sag, and SaskPower is advising residents to not try to remove frost from the lines. If you come across a downed power line, they ask it be reported to their outage line at 310-2220, or to call 911 if it is an emergency.
If using a generator, an installed transfer switch is needed. Without the switch, the generator will feed power back into the lines, which will create a hazard for the personnel working to restore power. As well, they remind those with generators to not operate them in a house, garage or enclosed building, as doing so will put people at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.