Support from northerners like you keeps our journalism alive. Sign up here.



Extreme winds bring day of power disruption in Hay River

A no-entry sign in downtown Hay River in February 2020
A no-entry sign in downtown Hay River in February 2020. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

Hay River residents endured spells without power throughout Tuesday as high winds ripped through the South Slave community.

While Yellowknife had initially been forecast to bear the brunt of Tuesday’s winds, in reality gusts throughout the day were significantly stronger in Hay River.

The town had registered gusts of up to 85 km/h by 4pm with sustained winds of 60 km/h, speeds rarely seen in Hay River so far this century.

A morning power outage lasted several hours for some customers in Hay River, Enterprise and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation. Crews worked throughout the day to recover fallen trees near power lines.



“High winds have caused multiple trees to fall on the line, disrupting power for customers in the Hay River Reserve and Riverwoods area. There is also a tree on the line near the ENR base, as well as on Woodland Drive,” power distributor Northland Utilities reported shortly after 4:30pm.

“In Enterprise, a live wire was knocked down by the wind and the Enterprise Fire Department is currently on site with our crews. We expect power to be restored to residents within the next few hours, but cannot provide a more specific ETA at this time.”

Just after 5pm, Northland declared an emergency outage for residents on Woodland Drive, Sibbeston Street, Eagle Crescent and McMeekin Crescent.

“We anticipate power will be back on in approximately two hours. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to safely restore power,” the company tweeted.

No wind warnings were issued. The lone advisory for the region from Environment and Climate Change Canada related to the potential for a snow squall in the vicinity of Fort Resolution.