(Montreal) From 100,000 to 150,000 customers could have to wait until Monday to find electricity, warns Hydro-Quebec, as the rate of reconnection slows.
Still, the state-owned utility plans to have one million customers back online by midnight tonight, about 72 hours after a major bout of freezing rain plunged more than 1.1 million into the dark on Wednesday.
More than 290,000 of them remained without power around 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning while about 1,500 Hydro-Québec employees were working in the field to reconnect them.
“We are in our 3rd day […] we are really falling into the part of the part of our plan where we will start to restore outages where fewer customers are affected. The rate of recovery will decrease. Breakdowns could take longer to repair in areas that are more difficult to access, “said the director of energy system control at Hydro-Québec, Maxime Nadeau, in a press briefing on Saturday.
To households frustrated to have lost electricity again after it was restored, Maxime Nadeau of Hydro-Québec confirms that this is unfortunately a possibility in the case of certain major reconnections.
“It happens when you reconnect customers who have been interrupted for a long time, it requires more electricity, so it can generate an additional break that must be repaired on the network,” he said on Saturday.
The Montreal region remains the most affected by these outages with nearly 190,000 customers waking up without heat or electricity.
The other two most affected regions are those of Laval, on the north shore of Montreal, with more than 29,000 customers in the dark, and in Outaouais, with approximately 27,000 customers affected.
More than 13,000 customers of the government corporation in the Laurentides and Lanaudière regions are still hoping to find electricity again, on the eve of Easter celebrations, a time conducive to family reunions.
Friday’s winds, with gusts of up to 75 km / h, however, complicated the task of Hydro-Quebec on Friday when tree branches near power lines were already weakened by the ice.
Since Thursday, about 1,400 breakdowns had been added, noted Régis Tellier, the vice-president of operations and maintenance of the state-owned company.
On Twitter, Internet users have begun to get impatient, calling on the state company to find out when they will be reconnected.
In Montreal and elsewhere, temporary emergency accommodation centers were opened overnight from Thursday to Friday to allow people without electricity to warm up while waiting for the situation to recover.