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Missed it by that much. Plus, some spring fun, for a change

Thank your lucky stars. You don't know how close you came to freezing in the dark just a few months ago.

The unreported near-collapse of a stretch of Manitoba Hydro's power lines in Northern Manitoba could have been more of a disaster than anyone knows.

We've dug out more details from transcripts of the Public Utilities Board's recent hearings. The transcripts run on average more than 200 pages a day, so it was only by chance we ran across the story of the close call that almost blacked out the province.

It happened this past January, and not last year as we first thought.

http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-manitoba-dodged-bullet-from-last.html

If the situation hadn't been caught in the nick of time, Manitoba would have been plunged into a blackout at exactly the moment we use the most power to heat our homes.

Last year's heavy rains resulted in extremely high water levels along the Nelson River. When winter came, it turned to ice. Heavy ice.

Ten feet of ice built up on one tower, causing a guy wire to snap. If the tower had fallen, it would have pulled down 18 other towers.

The leaning tower was spotted by accident and Hydro rushed in repair crews, including divers. While repairs were underway, Hydro cut off all exports coming south through that stretch of the transmission line.

Hydro officials told the PUB the emergency repairs cost in the range of $2.5 million and Manitoba lost another $2 million in sales to the U.S. Permanent repairs will add to the bill when it warms up enough to do them.

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Look, spring has arrived, so let's lighten up a bit. Follow us to some of the quirky stories we came across on the Internet this weekend.

Just in time for Easter, is this the first portrait of Jesus? Don't expect too much, but it's an interesting story nonetheless.

A treasure of a different sort. A private collector has released the only known nude photo of Elizabeth Taylor. It was an engagement gift from her to her third husband, Michael Todd.

The competition was fierce, but Fargo won the Weather Channel's tournament title as "America's toughest winter city."

You know you want to know. Is this the truth behind Donald Trump's hair?

And finally, the answer to every man's question.

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