Manitoba residents buckle down, check on neighbours as lack of power from snow storm grinds on

Don Clarkson sees the wet parallels between this October’s snow storm and the October of 2010, the fall before the Assiniboine River flood devastated parts of southern Manitoba.

“We’ve been residents of Delta Beach since 2007,” Clarkson told 680CJOB.

“We survived the 2011 flood, the 2013, 2014 high water years… and I don’t think we ever expected anything like what we received on Thursday night, Friday and Saturday.”

READ MORE: Outages coming down, but could be 7-10 days before total fix, says Manitoba Hydro

Despite the snowfall amounts, thanks to the nearby Lake Manitoba, the snow didn’t accumulate near his home – but that didn’t stop the power from going down.

“We have literally no snow, or we had no snow when we left (Sunday),” said Clarkson.

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“One thing, the storm really brought it out, is the whole issue of communication in the rural areas. We have very, very limited cell phone coverage. Those of us who live there usually you know we have cell phone boosters and things,” he said.

“But once all the power when power goes down, all of your everyday communication sort of fails.”

READ MORE: Red Cross opens warming shelter for First Nations evacuees

The lack of communication made it difficult for Clarkson’s wife to check in on her mother, who at 91 lives on the sixth floor of an apartment block in Portage la Prairie.

“She can’t walk up and down the stairs … So you know it was it’s a really a tough period of time.”

Thankfully, people in Portage la Prairie were checking in on each other, said Clarkson. “People know who has a generator, are making sure the people who don’t have  a warm meal and coffee in the mornings.”

READ MORE: Outages coming down, but could be 7-10 days before total fix, says Manitoba Hydro

“Big shout out to Airport Colony north of Macdonald for coming door to door offering sandwiches and homemade muffins to everyone,” said Debbi McArthur on social media.

“Also big shout out to Cory Thurston for firing up his tractor and clearing snow in town right after the storm. Feeling thankful for living in a little community with the best neighbours and showing what small communities are all about when they come together in a crisis.”

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READ MORE: ‘This is a significant challenge’: Manitoba still working to restore power, under official state of emergency

Terry Soloman lives on McKay Avenue in Winnipeg and said his family was without power until Sunday night. Soloman owns a triplex and said he was worried about his tenants.

“The lady upstairs that lives in my triplex, doesn’t get around so easy, doesn’t drive, and so I’ve been bringing her food.”

Meanwhile, Soloman said he’s been dealing with a different disaster – rising waters in the Whiteshell, which threaten his cottage and dock.

“It’s like I say — roll with the punches. Not much you can do. Mother Nature works like that.”

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