Beaver implicated in blackout
Wildlife and wind responsible for weekend power outage
“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.