During the week of January 18, 2010, parts of southern Saskatchewan which includes the town and community of Ogema, experienced fog just about every day. The trees, power and telephone lines as well as left over summer cob webs looked beautiful with all the hoar frost, but, that can cause huge problems, which it did. Starting on Friday evening, January 22, the power started giving us problems and by late Saturday afternoon it went off completely. How ever a simple power outage at that time didn't deter the Ogema Dance Club's annual steak supper fund raiser. People gathered at the Little Amego Inn for their supper and were greeted by members of the dance club in darkness. It was not very long before the candles were set on the tables and other light was provided by trouble lights being hooked up with vehicles near the entry doors. The steaks were cooked by a gas grill and the potatoes were baked ahead of time for all to enjoy.
Around seven that evening the power did come back on, but was short lived and everyone woke up on Sunday morning to a cool house, no lights, no telephone, no cell phone or On Star service. We were isolated.
We give thanks to God that the temperature was not -30, it was - 7. We are also thankful that we did not have any fires or emergencies because we were also without water pressure. Talk about modern technology; it doesn't work when the power goes down. Even during the winter of 1947-48 we had telephone service.
Amalgamating resource people to larger centres does not help the situation. Fewer workers in the field makes for longer wait times in our small productive communities. We had to chuckle to ourselves while listening to the radio announcer on our battery operated radio, for anyone planning to travel the highways to call the Highway Hotline before heading out. How can you call the hotline when you have no phone service of any kind?
Keith Bacon knocked on our door sometime on Sunday afternoon telling us that there was heat in the Ogema Legion Hall and if we wanted they would take us there. We didn't have to take advantage of this offer as we had our fireplace burning nicely for heat and our camp stove in for warming food. Once again the people of our community, as in every rural community, pull together in times of great need for which we are very thankful and grateful.
Power was restored around 6:03 and every one was relieved, but it was not to be as it went off again at three Monday morning. Our sincere and heartfelt thank you to all those who worked constantly to restore the power and telephone service. They worked under extreme conditions. Thank you.
As I write this on Monday afternoon we are back to the normal at the present, power was restored at 2:30 and around the same time our daughter from Calgary called to see what was taking place with the busy signal on our telephone.
This really wakes a person up to how much we rely on the power for everything we do and in some cases people are not prepared for this type of emergency any more.
Again our thanks to the power crews, the telephone crew and the people of Ogema for taking care of the people. God bless you all.
Victor & Isabella Frank