About 10,000 customers were without power across Saskatchewan as of 9 a.m. Friday, with the southeast corner of the province being the hardest hit.

SaskPower spokesperson Joel Cherry said crews are dispatched and locating the problem areas. They don't have estimated timeframes yet for when repairs will be completed.

A long stretch of cloudy, foggy weather caused thick frost to build up on power infrastructure, which Cherry said led to the widespread outages.

"What we're seeing with some of the more widespread outages is that transmission lines are being affected," said Cherry. "Transmission lines are the higher-voltage lines that carry power over longer distances. And so when one of them goes down, greater areas are affected because all the distribution lines that are fed by that transmission line also go off."

Heavy frost can cause power lines to sag and potentially break. It can also break parts of the actual infrastructure, such as cross-arms. It can cause line galloping where ice builds on one side of a line, and wind causes it to break loose. 

Cherry said heavy frost in 2018 caused the Estevan power stations to trip off, leading to a chain reaction that knocked out the power for most of the province that day. He said they don't expect anything that severe this time.

"We know it's never convenient and the power goes out and we want people to know that we're working, you know, as quickly and safely as we can to get the power back on for everyone," he said. "And hopefully we get some sunnier conditions today that's going to burn some of this frost off, because ultimately that's going to be what happens in order to prevent more outages."