Power outage in West Hill

SaskPower workers seen removing branches from the offending spruce tree. Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

A large swath of the West Hill lost power Wednesday after part of a tree fell on a power line.

The fire department reported that the top of a spruce tree broke off and severed a high-voltage power line at about 9:50 a.m. It triggered a small fire, which self-extinguished. According to Battalion Chief Alex Paul, fire crews secured the area and waited for SaskPower employees to repair the damage.

At noon, SaskPower workers were still on the scene, an alley between 20 Street West and 19 Street West just west of 6 Avenue. Initially, they said, the damage cut off power to a large portion of the West Hill, including the hospital. By noon, they had restored power to all but two residential blocks.

According to a SaskPower worker, heavy winds were responsible for the felled tree branches. Crews were busy removing other branches close to the line, which carries about 14,000 volts.