(Montreal) As promised, Hydro-Québec has been able to restore power to at least 95% of its customers plunged into darkness since the ice storm on Wednesday, Sunday evening, even if some Quebecers will have to resign themselves to waiting longer a long time.

After the day on Monday, “almost all” of the homes will have regained electricity, said Régis Tellier, vice-president of operations and maintenance for Hydro-Québec, during a press conference on Sunday at the end of the pre- noon, in Montreal. According to him, priority customers such as private residences for seniors and CHSLDs have all been restored.

If he cannot guarantee that everyone will have power again on Monday, it is because it is not always possible to estimate the extent of the damage before seeing it. “When you get to the field, that’s when you can see the complexity,” he says, citing cases where four or five branches have fallen in one place and need to be removed. “Sometimes it can take two or three teams. »

While Thursday and Friday, 400,000 customers were reconnected to the network, the pace slowed on Saturday, with just under 200,000 customers reconnected.

By 11 p.m. Sunday, there were 44,766 customers of the state-owned company without electricity. The Montreal region remained the most affected. It had 29,654 customers without power, with the situation improving from 24 hours earlier. Saturday morning the report showed nearly 190,000 customers without heating or electricity in Montreal.

The other regions still affected by outages were Outaouais (6238), Montérégie (5564) and Laval (3171).

It should be noted that the number of customers represents the quantity of dwellings or businesses, and not the number of people.

Mr. Tellier warned that the pace of recovery was expected to slow on Sunday, as the remaining outages each affect fewer customers. “We keep the same pace, he says, but when we fall into the secondary sections, it’s the same effort, but few customers. »

In all, he explains, 1,500 workers are in the field, and 40% of them work in Montreal.

He also recalled the importance of not approaching damaged electrical wires or trying to make repairs yourself, as this can pose a real danger of electrocution.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Urgences-santé has intervened with 115 Montrealers and 39 Laval residents for carbon monoxide poisoning since the start of the crisis, said spokesperson Julie Gaulin. Of this number, 126 people were transported to a hospital, but none in a condition giving rise to fear for their lives.

On the other hand, the death of a 75-year-old man was found at Saint-Eustache hospital. He had been found unconscious in his residence in Saint-Joseph-Du-Lac, while there was “a generator that worked in the garage”, indicated Jean-Philippe Labbé, inspector of investigations at the Régie de police du Lac. of Two Mountains. Firefighters estimated that there was “twenty times more” carbon dioxide in the air than normal, he said.

Poisoning occurs when you operate a fuel-burning device designed for the outdoors, such as a barbecue or certain heaters, inside your home. The device then produces carbon monoxide, which is stored in the air.

This toxic gas is invisible and smells nothing. It can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, unconsciousness or even death.

Special measures

Asked if Hydro-Quebec could offer some form of compensation to customers affected by outages, Energy System Control Manager Maxime Nadeau said that “most of the time, it’s something we focus on. let’s look after the event […] I can’t answer that question right now.”

Telephony providers such as Bell, Telus, Fizz and Videotron have announced in the last few days that they will not charge customers who have exceeded their mobile data plan, under various conditions.

In order to offer respite to people who regained power on Saturday evening, and to those who will be reconnected in the coming hours, the government has announced that food markets will be able to remain open in these regions on Sunday, despite Easter Day. . This will also be the case in Lanaudière, where the number of breakdowns was high on Saturday.

In the meantime, the government recalled on Saturday that more than 100 emergency centers have opened their doors in the most affected regions, in order to allow people for whom the blackout is prolonged to go to warm up, eat and recharge their batteries. electronic appliances.