Deadly storm in Ontario, Quebec causes widespread power outages

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Deadly storm in Ontario, Quebec causes widespread power outages
Deadly storm in Ontario, Quebec causes widespread power outages

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, there are 174,186 homes still without power after a violent storm that left a trail of destruction across southern Quebec.

That number is down about 25,000 homes since Monday morning, when nearly 200,000 households were in the dark — which was less than half the total number that lost power at the height of the storm.

The Laurentians remain the most affected, with 95,562 households powerless as of 5 p.m., followed by Lanaudière at 55,870 and Outaouais at 35,706.

At a press conference in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, on Montreal’s North Shore, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonatan Julien noted Hydro-Quebec hopes to quickly restore power to 80 per cent of homes affected by the storm.

He states the Crown corporation is entering an important phase of work, and it may take longer to reconnect some customers.

Hydro-Quebec could not say when all homes will regain power as at the height of the storm on Saturday, 550,000 customers experienced blackouts.

Sunday, the Crown corporation noted that more than 400 teams were on the ground working to restore power to as many homes as possible, “working nonstop,” according to Julien.

“The storm caused a lot of damage in several regions, especially in the Laurentians and Outaouais,” tweeted Premier François Legault.

“With Hydro-Quebec, we are making sure to reconnect all Quebecers as soon as possible. I thank the teams who are working hard on the ground.”

Strong winds were recorded in several locations during the peak of the storm late Saturday afternoon — 151 km/h on Lake Memphremagog, 96 km/h in Trois-Rivières and 90 km/h in Gatineau.

The Greater Montreal area was mostly spared as the storm moved from Ontario through to Outaouais, the Laurentians, Lanaudière and Mauricie to Capitale-Nationale late Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Townships and Chaudière-Appalaches were affected by another thunderstorm during the night.

The violent storms have left at least nine people dead.

FALLEN TREES AND DAMAGED BUILDINGS

In Quebec City, part of the roof of a 72-unit condo building was blown off due to the storm.

Residents were evacuated, and only those living on the lower floors have been able to return home due to water damage in the upper units, said Alexandre Lajoie with Quebec City’s fire department.

In Lanaudière, two schools were damaged by the weather.

In a note to parents, the Centre de services scolaires des Samares says it is working with experts to assess the situations at Sainte-Bernadette School in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes and Saint-Alphonse School in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez and will soon share its plan for a “safe return to class.”

In Val-Morin, in the Laurentians, residents are being asked to keep their drinking water consumption to a minimum.

“Due to the power outage, the water supply from our pumping stations is slow,” the municipality wrote on its Facebook page.

In Outaouais, several Fassett residents shared photos on social media of the fallen bell tower at the Saint-Fidèle church, which was built in 1918.

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