Manitoba Hydro has confirmed a blown substation is what caused the extensive power outage Thursday night in a number of communities in the southeast.

Just over 1,700 customers in Landmark, Blumenort and New Bothwell were without power until the wee hours of Friday morning.

And while a fuse sounds like an easy fix, Hydro spokesperson Glenn Schneider says it wasn't.

"Our crews gradually were able to restore service line-by-line between 11pm and 2am.  Subsequent to that, there were a number of smaller outages, smaller individual and smaller groups, that also had to be addressed."

Schneider says crews were working on the problem until 6am this morning.  He admits the timing of the outage couldn't have been much worse, with most of the province suffering through one of the coldest nights so far this winter.  But, he adds it should serve as a good reminder to people, especially in rural areas, to always have a back-up plan for when the power goes out.

"We can't guarantee availability of electricty all the time.  People should have some alternatives in mind, either going to a family's place where there is electricity available or to a friends or neighbor.  A lot of people in the country do have alternative supplies, either a fireplace or woodstove.  We have a terrific record in terms of reliability but, no system is perfect."