'I feel helpless': Frustration among West Islanders without power prompts response from Hydro-Quebec
Frustration is mounting in the West Island as many residents endure a third full day without power following Wednesday's ice storm.
"Hydro-Quebec, you need to do something better for the citizens of the West Island, especially in Pierrefonds. It's terrible, terrible," said resident Augin Carey.
Faced with "a large number of comments" from West Islanders, Hydro-Quebec said in a Saturday afternoon tweet that "We understand that, after such a long time, you might feel like you have been left out or forgotten, but we can assure you that is not the case."
The tweet explains that the West Island was hit particularly hard because of how many mature trees fell on power lines. Crews also faced challenges accessing the area with power lines passing behind homes.
"At the peak of the outage, there were 486,700 customers without power in the West Island. There are now around 139,000. We have restored power to around 71 per cent of the affected customers in the West Island while the average for Montreal is 72 per cent."
SENIORS STUCK WITHOUT POWER
Being carried by firefighters is the only way Rosemarie Aviles can get to the hospital. She's more than 24 hours late to her mandatory dialysis.
"I feel helpless, basically. And frustrated that no one could do anything," she said.
The 85-year-old has been stuck inside since her long-term care home in Pierrefonds lost power Wednesday. There is no working elevator. Staff are not allowed to carry her downstairs, so they call 911.
"There's no contingency plan of bringing patients down from the third floor, second floor for their regular medical treatments that they might have to do at the hospital," said her son Alexandro Aviles.
CHSLD Vigi isn't the only senior's home without power in the community. On Hydro-Quebec's service priority list, they fall behind hospitals. However, Hydro Quebec says care homes are a priority.
"The priority is higher than, say, normal residential homes(…), and we're working very hard to restore those kinds of priority as fast as possible," said Hydro-Quebec spokesperson Maxime Nadeau.
Red Cross opened an overnight shelter in the Pierrefonds Community High School. Twenty-four people stayed there overnight—the most of all the emergency shelters on the island.
"Friday night, we had 129 people staying over in all these shelters," said Carole Du Sault, Red Cross communications director.
Red Cross says its shelters will remain open until Sunday but will adjust as needed.
With files from CTV's Keila DePape