A loss of production at the Churchill Falls power plant in Labrador left nearly half a million homes without power as of midday Tuesday. More than 200,000 were still without power more than an hour and a half after the start of this major blackout.

The outages are not concentrated in one place, affecting many neighborhoods. In Montreal, 140,000 homes were without power at the stroke of noon. Around 1:30 p.m., there were still 65,000 homes affected by the breakdowns. A large part of Rosemont, Outremont, Griffintown and Côte-Saint-Luc, in particular, were plunged into darkness. On the South Shore, Longueuil, Brossard and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu were hard hit. In the north of the island, several districts of Laval also posted outages, as well as Terrebonne.

In Quebec too, there were many breakdowns. In fact, one in five households in the capital was affected by a breakdown, that is to say nearly 88,000. The situation had however been restored there a little before 1 p.m.

Caroline Des Rosiers, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec, explains that it was a “drop in production” that hit the network around noon.

“There is an investigation going on. The protection mechanisms of the electricity transmission network reacted correctly, which resulted in outages. Currently, we are gradually recovering on the network. »

In a statement posted on Twitter, Hydro-Québec explains:

“The loss of production from certain turbine-generator units at the Churchill Falls generating station triggered protection mechanisms on our high-voltage transmission network, causing a power outage affecting approximately 490,000 customers across Quebec. Our teams are investigating the cause of this loss of production. We are already trying to restore service to affected customers by supplying them through other transmission lines. Please note that you do not have to report the breakdown via the Info-pannes service and that the deadlines estimated by Info-pannes are not applicable in a breakdown of this type since there is no question of work to be carried out here. on the distribution network. »

Ms. Des Rosiers notes that the event does not appear to have been caused by any malicious person(s).

“At the moment, there’s nothing pointing in that direction,” she said.

No time is given for the restoration of electricity service. The outages started around noon.