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'Beautiful' frost in southern Sask. causing issues for SaskPower
Published Monday, December 3, 2018 2:48PM CST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2018 6:27PM CST
Foggy weather in the Queen City over the last week has led to a frost over the city that many are calling beautiful, but SaskPower says it’s leading to a number of problems.
“It builds up on those lines and really adds additional weight to them,” said Jordan Jackle, SaskPower. “What we’re seeing is the frost builds up, increases the weight, we see lines sagging; see lines breaking in some instances. We also see lines where they’re so heavy they’re actually breaking the attachments points on the power poles causing them to fall.”
Jackle said the trees are also being weighed down by the frost causing tree branches or limbs to bend or even break onto the power lines. SaskPower says the frost has been impacting customers from as far north as Prince Albert to the U.S. border.
“In total our outage center since Friday night has received somewhere around 25,000 calls from customers reporting either an outage or damage,” said Jackle. “What’s going to fix all this will be a good sunny day with no mist or fog.”
Jackle said if you do find a downed power line, to not approach it and to call SaskPower.
“You should really treat every line as though it is energized because there are situations where when a line goes down it is still conducting electricity so we really rely on people calling us and telling us about it,” said Jackle.
Terri Lang who is a Meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada said the rime frost or icing is caused from a lack of weather system in our province.
“There’s no flow to move the clouds around and such,” Lang told CTV News. “We have really cold air at the surface and we have warm air just above the surface and what that’s doing it the warm air is trapping the cold air and moisture right at the surface and it’s forming this fog, and all these little particles the droplets are still liquid so as soon as they encounter a tree, a power line, a car, they automatically freeze onto the car because they’re still liquid and that’s what’s causing such a wide spread problem.”
Lang said it’s normal for Saskatchewan to get period of rime icing or frost but said it usually doesn’t persist this long. She said the icing should stick around until Tuesday but then some new weather systems are moving in that will bring more wind.
“It’s pretty to look at but it’s also quite tricky on the roads and quite dangerous so people should really take care especially with the really thick rime icing that we’ve seen in Regina,” said Lang.