Snow falls heavy in a Takhini neighbourhood during the night between Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Power restored to all ATCO customers following ‘extreme snowfall’

Roughly 5,500 customers were affected in total

All customers affected by severe weather over the weekend have had their power restored, said Jay Massie, manager of ATCO Electric Yukon.

Marsh Lake residents saw their electricity come back on at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7. A “few hundred” customers in the area were the last to be without power. It was one of the hardest hit areas, Massie told the News.

“That being said, there may be individual customers without power in isolated areas. Our crews will be patrolling throughout the Southern Lakes for the remainder of the day to ensure we have everyone on,” Massie told local media in a written statement.

The “extreme snowfall” that swept through Southern Yukon affected roughly 5,500 customers, in total.

Bobby Sekhon, an Environment Canada meteorologist, said there were reports of 15 to 20 centimetres of snow in the Whitehorse area, most of it falling on Oct. 6.

“It’s definitely exceptional snowfall for Whitehorse in October,” he said. “The average snowfall for the entire month in October for Whitehorse is 18.6 centimetres, so you can see in pretty much 24 hours we got a month’s worth of snow.”

The Southern Lakes Region was hit at 10 a.m. on Oct. 6.

“Approximately 830 customers on the Alaska Highway south from Carcross Corner to Teslin including the Marsh Lake area were affected,” Massie said via email that day.

Heavy snowfall caused trees to come into contact with power lines, spurring outages. The problem started on Oct. 5 at 11:30 p.m. in Porter Creek. Power in this area was downed again later on.

“From 4:10 to 4:40 am approximately 1760 customers in Porter Creek were restored in multiple stages,” the written statement says.

Whitehorse North saw 2,500 customers’ power go out. Other areas that were hit included Whistlebend and Crestview.

Sekhon said the low-pressure system came from the Gulf of Alaska. It’s moving through central British Columbia and into Alberta currently.

Cold air has been left in its wake. Warmer conditions will come on Oct. 10, Sekhon said. There will be a high of 8 C then.

During a 38-hour period starting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 5, Whitehorse RCMP responded to seven crashes, according to a spokesperson. There were no collisions elsewhere during this timeframe.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

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