Montreal is busy cleaning up the damage caused by Wednesday’s ice storm, but its critical infrastructure “is not affected,” the city said Thursday.

Municipal teams are first working to clear the passageways for emergency vehicles, said Mayor Valérie Plante, at a press briefing in the Saint-Michel district with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

“The priority is the main streets first, the side streets later and, at the very end, the parks,” Ms. Plante said.

Her own home is without electricity, Ms. Plante said. She also announced the opening of all cultural centers and libraries that always have power in order to provide heated places of refuge for citizens.

The Montreal Fire Department (SIM) is preparing to open shelters if needed, especially for those who still will not have electricity overnight from Friday to Saturday. “This morning, we switched to intervention mode, because the forecast for the return of electricity is longer than what we expected,” said fire chief Robert Liebmann. The shelters “will be throughout the territory of the Montreal agglomeration. It will be according to the needs, we are currently analyzing which are the best places. »

More broadly, “critical infrastructure is not impacted,” Liebmann explained. “They are all powered by generator or have electricity. So there is no major risk at this level. »

The mayor appealed for caution: Montrealers should stay home on Thursday and, above all, avoid going to parks. “It can fall, it’s still very unstable,” she said. Mr. Liebmann, added that the victims should absolutely avoid using combustion devices (propane, for example) inside.

Ms. Plante asked Montrealers who can safely move their cars to do so in order to give space to cleaning crews. No ticket will be imposed on them, she said.

“Along with the sadness, there is this observation that has been made for a long time, but which is increasingly obvious: climate change is not a figment of the imagination. It is a reality that always strikes more often and harder,” added Valérie Plante.