Warmth and good people around you: that’s what you can’t do without in life, after all.
Hydro-Québec customers and their families who were still without power on Monday – there were still nearly 15,000 in this situation at the end of the evening – would have done well without this reminder of their basic needs. Some of them, however, were full of gratitude.
Monday afternoon, at the private residence Les Jardins Beaurepaire, in Beaconsfield – an affluent suburb located in the west of the island of Montreal –, the elderly tenants of the place were of course very anxious for the electricity to return, but they congratulated themselves on being so well surrounded.
Everyone had nothing but good words for Fiona Griffiths. A retired nurse and seasoned camper, Ms. Griffiths had all the gear in her home to survive a long, long power outage and bring it to all those neighbors. A little cappuccino, anyone?
“Always be prepared for anything is the motto of the good camper!” said Ms. Griffiths.
It must be said that Beaconsfield certainly woke up again with a funny look on Monday.
Plunged into darkness, the Jardins Beaurepaire residence even had the air of a horror movie when the owner Omar Rifai – conveniently a pruner by trade and a chainsaw in hand – made a brief appearance in the living room where have been bringing residents together since Wednesday to enjoy the warmth of the gas fireplace.
“Long live Fiona!” And long live our owner, who is also absolutely wonderful! “, launched Anne-Marie Kubanek, a new resident.
The owner, Mr. Rifai, was on all fronts – and on the roof – cleaning up the still visible damage left by the freezing rain on Wednesday. And this, while at home, by the river, the two pumps had to be monitored at all hours of the day and night to prevent the water from rising in the basement.
While her father took care of his retirement home, Kelley Rifai stood guard at the family residence.
What did he miss the most, like everyone he met? The computer? Television? ” No ! The heat ! replied Kelley Rifai.
Because paradoxically, if the weather was great in Montreal – up to 17 degrees – and the sun was really spring-like, in the houses it was cold and damp.
It was therefore in a coat, in her living room, that Susan Johnston reminded us that she had no electricity “since Wednesday at 1:34 p.m. “.
“We are really among the last to still not have electricity,” she lamented in the afternoon, while also dreaming of a good hot shower.
At the very least, Hydro-Québec employees were on his street. William de Carufel was still working a 16-hour day. Usually assigned to the underground electrical network in downtown Montreal, he was delighted to be in the field. “I’m happy to be moving. Teleworking, tasks behind the computer, it had cut my legs a little too much. »
As of Monday, 1,600 Hydro-Québec employees were hard at work in the field.
Many of those interviewed felt like they were the last ones still in the dark, sometimes looking longingly at the next door neighbor who was no longer cold.
At the end of the evening, Hydro-Québec calculated that 9,773 homes in Montreal, 2,182 customers in the Outaouais and 1,528 others in the Montérégie (the three most affected regions) were still without power.
In total, nearly 1.1 million Hydro-Québec customers have been affected by an outage since Wednesday.
After a sunny Easter holiday (and without electricity for some), it’s back to school for most young Quebecers on Tuesday. In Montreal, most schools will be open, but some private establishments are on vacation until Wednesday. If an establishment were to be deprived of power, parents would be informed, communicated the Montreal school service center. In addition, children will have to bring a lunch on Tuesday, the food offer in cafeterias being reduced at the beginning of the week due to food losses linked to power outages.