Power mostly restored after ice storm hits Quebec

Over a hundred Hydro Quebec teams are working to restore power to the over 130,000 that lost it during the overnight freezing rain and wind. SOURCE Hydro Quebec

Hydro Quebec expects all its customers to have power back after Saturday and Sunday's freezing rain and wind caused around 130,000 customers to have their service interupted.

As of 11:30 p.m., Hydro Quebec reported that just under 15,000 remained without power, the majority of which (around 10,000) were in the Monteregie. No Hydro clients in Montreal were without power. 

Pour la plupart des secteurs touchés sur la Rive-Sud, nous ne sommes pas en mesure de fournir une estimation pour le moment, mais avons 120 équipes à pied d'oeuvre sur le terrain qui travaille à rétablir le service le plus rapidement possible.

Merci pour votre patience.

— Hydro-Québec (@hydroquebec) January 12, 2020

"This is where most of our interuptions happened, and that's due to galloping," explained spokesperson Cendrix Bouchard. "What really happened today is there is a layer of ice stuck on the wire creating odd shapes. When the wind occured it started pushing the wires around, it's kind of a jumping motion."

Bouchard said the Monteregie experienced the perfect combination of strong winds blowing at the right angle along with the freezing rain that caused the outages. Hydro Quebec has equipment that monitors such things, and crews simply needed to wait for the winds to die down to go and repair them.

Bouchard said the vast majority of those affected by the outages will be back on the grid by the end of Sunday.

Hydro Quebec service interruptions by region are as follows at 11:30 p.m.:

  • Capitale-Nationale, 22 customers
  • Centre-du-Québec, 270 customers
  • Chaudière-Appalaches, 541 customers
  • Estrie, 1,021 customers
  • Montérégie, 10,250 customers

Environment Canada is calling for more snow Sunday and Monday with temperatures from -4 to -11 Celcius.