Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeWorld NewsCanada newsHere's what to expect as Hydro-Québec scrambles to restore power

Here’s what to expect as Hydro-Québec scrambles to restore power

The latest: 

  • At least one person died after being hit by a falling branch.
  • As of 8:00 a.m. ET Friday, about 678,000 Hydro-Québec customers were without power.
  • 62 people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Hydro-Québec says most households will have power back within 24 hours.  CBC will have live coverage here and you can follow updates on CBC Radio One.
  • If the power or data on your device is low, get your storm updates on CBC Lite. It’s our low-bandwidth, text-only website.
  • To keep an eye on the outages, click here.

Hydro-Québec is aiming to restore power to at least three-quarters of the customers who were plunged into the dark after Wednesday’s ice storm.

“All human, technical and financial resources are being deployed to reconnect customers as quickly as possible,” said the public utility’s president and CEO Sophie Brochu during a Thursday news conference.

This comes after freezing rain, snow and strong wind gusts swept through southern Quebec on Wednesday, cutting electricity to over a million customers.

Hydro-Québec officials are scheduled to hold a news conference Friday morning at 11 a.m. to give an update on the situation.

Premier François Legault said while many people will have power restored by Friday evening, he expected 300- to 350,000 customers could still be without electricity over the weekend.

Officials said Thursday that Hydro-Québec’s first priority is to ensure public safety by attending to major hazards like fallen wires in roadways.

Next, crews will focus on restoring power to places like hospitals, long-term care homes and seniors’ residences. From there, they will prioritize areas with high concentrations of customers.

heres what to expect as hydro quebec scrambles to restore power

Hydro-Québec works to restore power for hundreds of thousands after deadly ice storm

12 hours ago

Duration 2:33

The cleanup is underway after an ice storm caused widespread damage and knocked out power for up to a million customers. For some it brought back memories of the ice storm 25 years ago but damage from this storm was more localized and repairs are expected more quickly.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Over the last 24 hours, 62 people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Urgences Santé. Parademics had to do 26 interventions in Montreal and Laval. 

Most patients were transported to hospital, but no one is in danger, said Urgences Santé. It said most cases were linked to charcoal and propane barbecues being used indoors or generators being installed too close to air inlets.

Trees cut power

About 25 percent of all network interruptions affect 1,000 subscribers or more as Hydro-Québec crews scramble to attend to dozens of service interruptions spread throughout the network. The outages were largely caused by branches and trees falling on power lines.

Tree surgeons have been called in to assist electrical crews.

Régis Tellier, vice-president of operations and maintenance for Hydro-Québec, said the storm caused many small outages rather than interrupting main lines.

“There are no breaks on strategic assets,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, minister of economy, innovation and energy. Overall, he said, the situation is “very well managed.”

But with Montreal experiencing half of the province’s power outages, he added, “obviously, it’s a crisis.”

heres what to expect as hydro quebec scrambles to restore power 1

A look at the damage in Montreal caused by the freezing rain storm

15 hours ago

Duration 0:56

CBC Montreal reporter Kwabena Oduro talks downed trees, power lines and what Hydro-Québec teams are doing to restore the grid.

Public Security Minister François Bonnardel said crews were on the ground some 72 hours in advance, preparing for what he described as a “mini ice storm.”

Environment Canada reports that up to 35 millimetres of freezing precipitation fell on Montreal. 

On the South Shore, between 15 and 25 millimetres fell on the Montérégie region. Up to 30 millimetres in the Outaouais region.

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