Beaver im­pli­cated in black­out

Wildlife and wind re­spon­si­ble for week­end power out­age

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - FRONT PAGE - JA­SON KERR

“It was eaten up by beavers and then the strong winds tore it down.” SaskPower spokesper­son

Strong winds and Saskatchewan wildlife com­bined to leave most of Prince Al­bert and vast ar­eas of north­ern Saskatchewan in the dark on Sun­day.

Parts of the city were with­out power for roughly an hour af­ter a beaver gnawed away at the base of a power pole, desta­bi­liz­ing it enough that strong winds were able to knock it over.

A spokesper­son from SaskPower said crews were able to re­store ser­vice by roughly 6 p.m. on Sun­day, al­though about 3,500 peo­ple re­mained with­out power for another four or five hours while per­ma­nent re­pairs were made.

Crews will re­turn to the site over the next two to three days to make ad­di­tional re­pairs and in­spect other poles in the area.

“There was a lot of ev­i­dence at the base of that pole that, yes, it was eaten up by beavers and then the strong winds tore it down,” the spokesper­son said.

“That led to a bit of a domino ef­fect, bring­ing down power. Within an hour we were able to reroute power,” the spokesper­son con­tin­ued.

The power out­age brought traffic to a brief halt in Prince Al­bert, al­though lights at nine dif­fer­ent in­ter­sec­tions kept func­tion­ing.

Those nine in­ter­sec­tions, eight of which are along ei­ther Se­cond Av­enue West or Sixth Av­enue East, have a UPS (un­in­ter­rupted power sup­ply) bat­tery backup. The bat­ter­ies give each in­ter­sec­tion enough power to func­tion for another hour or two.

In the even power re­mains out for longer than one hour, the on-call duty fore­man places stop signs at in­ter­sec­tions. The city has a pri­or­ity list of which in­ter­sec­tions get stop signs first.


A beaver, per­haps not un­like the one seen here, was likely in­volved in weak­en­ing a power pole that col­lapsed over the week­end.

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