By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — A blast of winter weather wreaked mid-week havoc across south-central Saskatchewan, ranging from disrupted highway traffic to power failures lasting for several hours.
Officials from the Ministry of Highways recommended against travel on Highway 11 between Regina and Saskatoon on Wednesday morning, owing to poor visibility, drifting snow and icy, slippery surfaces.
Police reported around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday that a semi truck was blocking the northbound lanes of Highway 11 between Bladworth and Davidson after the driver lost control.
The northbound lanes were closed and traffic was rerouted while the scene of the collision was cleared. The highway did not fully reopen until 5:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Members of the Craik and Outlook RCMP detachments were on hand. Motorists were advised to expect delays and to use an alternate route if possible.
Reports from police stated that poor driving conditions were still in effect, including “extremely strong” winds and icy road surfaces.
SaskPower employees were kept busy on Wednesday dealing with the effects of the weather, which led to power outages in many regions of the province.
Jonathan Tremblay, a spokesman for the Crown corporation, estimated that 25,000 customers in total lost power for part of the day on Wednesday.
A fire at the Watrous power substation was reported as the cause of an outage that lasted several hours and affected several communities along Highway 2, including Imperial, Simpson and Young.
Tremblay said the fire, reported around 7 a.m., was small and quickly contained, having resulted from a blown fuse at the substation.
“That part of the province was probably the worst hit,” he said, adding that high winds contributed to the situation across Saskatchewan, taking down power lines and keeping SaskPower staff on their toes.
Tremblay stated that no area was without power for more than three-and-a-half or four hours, adding, “By the end of the day, it was back to business as usual for the most part.”
However, several reports from Imperial indicated power was off there for most of the business day.
For the full story, please see the Nov. 23 edition of The Davidson Leader.