Quebec's power almost completely restored: Less than 400 still in the dark
Mass-power outages continue to affect Quebeckers on Boxing Day.
Published Wednesday, December 25, 2013 12:00PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 30, 2013 2:40PM EST
MONTREAL – Just under 400 Hydro Quebec customers remain without power, just over a week after a mix of wintry weather blew through Eastern Canada.
The company had planned to restore power to all its clients by the evening of Dec. 28 night, but strong winds caused tree branches to snap, creating more outages in the Eastern Townships.
As of 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 30, about 121 clients were without power in the Townships, 23 in the Monteregie region, and 197 in Montreal.
On Dec. 29, a Hydro-Quebec spokeswoman said customers in the Monteregie would experience rotating outages throughout the day as crews worked on repairs.
The outages, she said, are not major and provided that the weather remains relatively calm, power should be restored by end of day Sunday.
The repair work has required much navigating and manipulating of icy trees.
''There's a lot of branches that fell on the cables, and our workers have difficult work to do, such as clear the access, trim the trees, replace the equipment. There has been a lot of ice on the equipment, and on the trees and the branches, so it's hard work to do," said Hydro Quebec representative Jonathan Petit Friday.
Hydro Quebec was anxious to finish the work as soon as possible before forecast frigid temperatures descend on the province New Year’s Day.
From the begininning of the storm, a total of 317,000 Quebec dwellings lost power at one point or another.
Tens of thousands of people from Ontario to New Brunswick also lost power following the ice storm that first struck Eastern Canada on Dec. 21.
In the early afternoon on Dec. 30, about 3,700 were still without power in New Brunswick. In Ontario, 725 in the Toronto area were still without power, as were 1,500 elsewhere in the province.
The Canadian Tire Corporation said it will offer $50 gift cards to the 20,000 hydro and emergency workers across Eastern Canada that have been working to put an end to the mass-outages that have swept the area.
"Hydro workers and emergency personnel made sacrifices to be away from their families while working in challenging conditions during the Christmas holidays," said Duncan Fulton, Senior Vice President of the Canadian Tire Family of Companies.
"We think these men and women should be commended."
- with files from the Canadian Press