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2 injured, 1 critically as winter weather continues to whack Manitoba

A fallen tree blocks a road St. James. The City of Winnipeg says one person was critically injured by a fallen tree Friday.
A fallen tree blocks a road St. James. The City of Winnipeg says one person was critically injured by a fallen tree Friday. Submitted/Keenan Broesky

Two people were injured in Winnipeg Friday as a Colorado low continued to pound the city — including one person taken to hospital in critical condition after a tree branch fell on them.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service’s assistant chief, Jay Shaw, who heads up the city’s emergency centre, confirmed the injuries but couldn’t give any more details on the person injured by the fallen tree.

He said the second person who was injured was taken to hospital in stable condition after a crash involving a Winnipeg Transit bus.

READ MORE: Manitobans may be in the dark into Sunday as Hydro deals with record outages

“We’re still responding to, I think we’re over 342 calls for power lines in the last little while, and we’re two-and-a-half times the regular call volumes for 911 services,” Shaw told 680 CJOB.

“We’ve have multiple, multiple motor vehicle collisions and we’re responding — that’s one of the reasons we want to keep the roads clear.”

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A tree fallen onto a car in St. James.
A tree fallen onto a car in St. James. Submitted/Neil Longmuir

Earlier in the day Mayor Brian Bowman asked Winnipeggers to stay off city roads if possible to keep things clear for emergency responders.

Environment Canada issued winter storm warnings across the entire southern part of the province and advised that as much as 50 centimetres of snow could fall in some areas.

Winds were also an issue with gusts expected to reach 80 km/h and as high as 100 km/h off area lakes.

Earlier in the day Friday the city said it had received as many as 700 reports of downed trees across Winnipeg as a result of those winds and heavy snow since Thursday night.

READ MORE: Leaves, wet snow a ‘perfect storm’ to damage trees: arborist

Manitoba Hydro said more than 100,000 customers experienced outages across the province Friday — a record amount.

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The utility said it had so far restored 64,000 customers’ power by around 4 p.m.

Hydro warned not to remove downed trees or fallen branches from power lines.

“If you see a line on the ground, just assume it is still live. Stay away from it, keep others away from it and call 911 immediately,” said Hydro spokesperson, Scott Powell in a release.

–With files from The Canadian Press

Crews work to fix downed light standard in Winnipeg storm
Crews work to fix downed light standard in Winnipeg storm