(Montreal) More than 295,000 Hydro-Quebec customers remained without power around 8 a.m. Saturday morning, some since the ice storm on Wednesday, but others since the appearance of new outages that occurred in the wake of the operation to reconnect teams in the field.
The Montreal region remains the most affected by these outages with nearly 192,000 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 28,000 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.
A press briefing on the state of the situation is scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m.
Despite everything, work is progressing to restore power to Quebec homes and businesses. There were more than a million addresses affected overnight from Wednesday to Thursday.
“More than 400,000 customers have found electricity today [Friday], which is in addition to the 400,000 yesterday [Thursday]”, Hydro-Québec said on Twitter late Friday evening.
In a press briefing on Friday afternoon, Premier François Legault said that Hydro-Québec’s goal was for approximately 95% of residences to be reconnected by Saturday evening.
Friday’s winds, with gusts of up to 75 km / h, however, complicated the task for Hydro-Quebec, as 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.
Hydro-Québec must again take stock of the situation on Saturday morning around 9 a.m. It plans to deploy more than 1,400 personnel to continue reconnection efforts on the eve of Easter.
Prime Minister François Legault was on Friday in Les Coteaux, Montérégie, the day after the death of a resident caused by a falling tree branch.
A second death was recorded on Friday, after a 75-year-old man was found unconscious at his residence in Saint-Joseph-Du-Lac, in the Laurentians.
There was “a generator that was working in the garage,” said Jean-Philippe Labbé, inspector of investigations at the Régie de police du Lac des Deux-Montagnes. Firefighters estimated that there was “20 times more” carbon dioxide in the air than the norm, he said.
The man was found dead at Saint-Eustache hospital.
In Châteauguay, in Montérégie, there were only 3,150 homes left that were still without electricity on Friday, compared to 16,000 the day before, the municipality said in a press release.
“The river level is stable,” she said.
At 6:16 a.m. Saturday, the Hydro-Quebec site indicated that there were only 92 customers without electricity in the municipality.
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.