Spring snowfall causes more than 285,000 power outages

Many Quebecers wake up under a white carpet this Thursday morning… and in the dark. A low pressure system expected to drop 15 to 25 centimeters of snow is currently sweeping the south of the province, causing numerous power outages and school closures.




Around 8:30 a.m., Hydro-Québec reported that more than 285,000 of its customers were without electricity, including 80,000 in Montreal and 87,000 in the Laurentians. In Montérégie, the outages affected 39,000 subscribers of the state company, while in Outaouais, 25,000 did not have access to power.

Residents of Laval (21,000), Lanaudière (19,000) and Estrie (12,000) were also affected by the outages.

Consult the status of the Hydro-Québec network

  • PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

  • PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

  • PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

  • PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

  • PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

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“In several places, power lines are found on the ground due to strong gusts of wind or under the weight of broken tree branches. We are mobilizing all available teams to work to restore service as quickly as possible,” Hydro-Québec said.

The state-owned company added that due to the scale of the current event, the service restoration times displayed on its site are approximate. She also asked the population not to approach electrical wires that may have fallen to the ground, stressing that in such a situation, they must call 911 so that emergency services can come and secure the scene.

“Also, absolutely must not use fuel-fired lighting or auxiliary heating devices, generators or portable stoves designed for outdoors (barbecues) inside residences. The risk of asphyxiation and intoxication is significant,” it was reiterated.

The snow that fell overnight also led to the closure of many schools, notably in Outaouais, Laval, the Laurentians, Lanaudière, and Montérégie.

In an advisory published Wednesday, Environment Canada warned that the system could leave up to 20 cm of snow by Thursday evening in Outaouais, Montreal, Montérégie, the Laurentians and Lanaudière. In Estrie, accumulations could reach 25 cm.

Consult Environment Canada’s forecasts

A first tranche of 5 to 10 cm was expected during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. The rest was expected to fall during the day, before the system continues its path towards the center and east of the province, as well as towards the Maritimes.

In an interview, Environment Canada meteorologist Michèle Fleury clarified on Wednesday that since temperatures are hovering around the freezing point, “it’s still going to be heavy snow, a bit like slush or slush.”

Therefore, more difficult road conditions are expected for the Thursday morning rush hour, especially in a context where summer tires have been authorized on the roads since March 15.

Consult the state of the road network

According to Mme Fleury, even if many people would have done without this winter wink, nothing is out of normal at this time of the year.

“It’s definitely a type of storm that you can see in April, especially since it’s still the first days of April. We are still within climatic normals,” she mentioned.

In Ontario, Hydro One reported Thursday morning that more than 46,000 of its customers were facing an outage, but that its teams had already restored power to approximately 125,000 of its subscribers.

Schools closed

The following school service centers have announced the closure of their establishments due to the storm:

  • Montreal School Service Center
  • Riverside School Service Center
  • Laurentides School Service Center
  • Affluents School Service Center
  • Laval school service center
  • Trois-Lacs School Service Center
  • Samares School Service Center
  • Hautes-Rivières school service center
  • Thousand Islands School Service Center
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Service Center
  • Rivière-du-Nord school service center
  • Côte-du-Sud School Service Center

These establishments have also announced their closure:

  • Primary school at Orée du Bois, Saint-Lazare
  • Antoine-Manseau Academy, Joliette
  • Lafontaine Academy, Saint-Jérôme
  • Fournier Academic Center, Saint-Laurent
  • Center François-Michelle, Montreal
  • School Integration Center Inc., Montreal
  • Champagneur College, Rawdon
  • Esther-Blondin College, Saint-Jacques
  • Heritage College, Châteauguay
  • Collège Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, La Pocatière
  • Les Mélèzes School, Joliette
  • Lucien-Guilbault School, Montreal
  • Marie-Anne School, Rawdon
  • Peter Hall School, Saint-Laurent
  • Vanguard School, Saint-Laurent


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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