Winter storm | Between rain and snow, time for the weather cocktail

Snow and rain caused headaches on Wednesday almost everywhere in Quebec. Several households found themselves in the dark, especially in Estrie, where ski resorts also had to close their doors. In Montreal, water accumulated everywhere on the road. And we will now have to act quickly to clean everything up before the next round, scheduled for Saturday.

“I came back from daycare and it was quite difficult. With the snow and puddles everywhere, then the stroller, it’s not an easy morning, that’s for sure,” says Lukas Sandmea, who had just left his young child at daycare, in the downtown Montreal.

Like him, Laetitia Laouira nevertheless remains optimistic, taking advantage of what winter has to offer. “Frankly, we expected much worse this year. There, it is especially the water and the ice that is complicated to live with. When going down a street, you always slip every other time. It’s not very practicable,” she says.

Having arrived from France a few days ago for a two-week stay in Quebec, Sandrine and Lionel Lanchas are surprised that life goes on, despite the snow and large quantities of water.


In Montreal, water accumulated everywhere on the road.

“At home, with a millimeter, there is nothing left, no more life, everything stops. We feel and see that you are clearly more equipped and used to it. We are especially surprised by the puddles and holes in the road, but otherwise, everything is really well managed, everything is cleared of snow. It’s great,” says Sandrine, with a smile on her face.

In total, the metropolis has received around fifteen centimeters of snow since Tuesday. In Laval, we were talking more about between 20 and 30 centimeters. In the Laurentians and Hautes-Laurentides, between 30 and 40 centimeters fell to the ground.

It was the Charlevoix region that received the most snow, indicates Jean-Philippe Bégin of Environment Canada. “The event is not over in Charlevoix, which has already received between 30 and 40 centimeters and which could receive between 10 and 20 additional centimeters,” observes the meteorologist. Several roads were also closed on the North Shore, where up to 40 centimeters of snow were received.

“Absolute priority” to sidewalks

An “absolute” priority will be given to the clearing and de-icing of sidewalks over the coming days in Montreal, says the City’s administrative spokesperson, Philippe Sabourin. “It’s going well on the arterial streets, but we’re going to have to go back to the residential streets. That’s going to be the top priority,” he said.

Its teams will also channel water along the street, as heavy snow is blocking several sewer entrances across the island of Montreal.

By 7 p.m. Thursday evening, all Montreal boroughs should also have launched a snow loading operation. Some, like Le Plateau-Mont-Royal or Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, were supposed to do so on Wednesday evening. Others, like Ville-Marie, should launch operations starting Thursday morning.

It must be said that time is of the essence, because the respite will be short-lived, according to Environment Canada. Another system which crosses the central United States and goes up the Great Lakes should arrive in Quebec during the night of Friday to Saturday. Another broadside of around fifteen centimeters is expected.

“We won’t be able to collect everything by Saturday, but the more we are able to do, the better positioned we will be. The good news is that we are not expecting any water or ice for Saturday,” explains Mr. Sabourin. He calls on citizens to clear their balconies, entrances and emergency exits as quickly as possible to prevent the snow from soon turning into ice.

Worrying situation in Estrie

Tens of thousands of Hydro-Québec customers were deprived of electricity in Estrie, where the situation seemed more critical. Mount Sutton also had to close its doors on Wednesday for the fourth time this season, a “very worrying” situation, admits spokesperson Clothilde Mondor. A reopening is planned for Thursday, if all goes well.

“The reason for our closure (…) is a widespread power outage in our region. The very probable reason for this failure of the Hydro-Québec network being broken branches and trees that fell on the electrical network due to the very high winds last night,” she continues, adding that this fourth closure due to failures “ also affected our snow-making production.”

Discussions will take place with municipal and provincial authorities, as well as with Hydro-Québec, “in order to find palliative solutions, if they exist, while waiting for an upgrade of the electrical network in our region.” “We strongly hope for a rapid resolution of the reliability of the electricity network,” notes Mme Mondor.

Several road trips also took place across the province due to weather conditions. In Rigaud, a 53-foot vehicle overturned in the central reservation, causing a closure of the highway and delays. “We also had several clashes, but nothing major, no injuries. Everything was above all material,” notes agent Camille Savoie, spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).


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