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Strong winds down trees and cause power outages in Regina

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Strong winds rip through Regina – May 24, 2017

Wind gusts reaching up to 85 kilometres per hour downed trees and caused numerous power outages in the Queen City Wednesday.

According to SaskPower, crews responded to multiple power outages in the city, including the Warehouse District where four blocks had to be cordoned off as crews worked to restore power.

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SaskPower spokesperson Jonathan Tremblay said Regina had been hardest hit in the province.

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However, crews are seeing a lot of activity in the Saskatoon region as Environment Canada issued a thunderstorm watch.

“The General Hospital area, between Moose Jaw and Regina. Some of our big lines there and in White City, there’s a line that’s torn down that we’re addressing,” Tremblay said.

READ MORE: Severe thunderstorm watch in Saskatoon; wind warning, weather statement in parts of Sask.

Power outages were also reported in many other parts of the province; including Yorkton, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, and La Loche.

Tremblay said they received about 4,300 calls to their outage centre – an indication of how many customers were affected. About one third of power outages are caused by severe weather, he said.

SaskPower is advising people to stay ten metres away from any downed power lines. Residents are asked to call SaskPower or 9-1-1 if they see any.

The strong winds also knocked out power to Regina’s General Hospital, and six elective surgeries had to be postponed. A spokesperson said those procedures will be rebooked as soon as possible.

City crews working outdoors were also battling the elements. Strong winds and blowing dust were the challenge for outdoors workers.

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“We’ve had a few issues with some of the construction signs blowing down and guys going back out and throwing extra sandbags down,” Norman Kyle, director of transportation and roadways said.

Resident Daulton Macdonald said the intense winds almost knocked him over.

“It’s crazy. I almost got blown over a couple of times… When I was walking to work, I almost didn’t make it. I had to huddle myself down to walk because it was just too windy,” he said.

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