Thousands still in the dark, Hydro-Quebec warns of no power before Christmas Eve
By Justin Giovannetti, CTV Montreal
Published Saturday, December 22, 2012 12:44PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 24, 2012 6:33PM EST
UPDATE: By noon on Monday power had been restored to all but 21,000 residents, with Hydro-Quebec announcing that 80 per cent of people who had lost power on Friday had seen it restored. Over 800 workers were out on Monday, helping fix over 1,100 different breakages in the utility's network.
MONTREAL—In one of the longest power outages since the Ice Storm in 1998, nearly 40,000 were still without power in the Laurentians on Sunday evening after a strong winter storm pounded the area on Friday.
For many, the outages have led to Christmas being cancelled at home.
"This is our first Christmas with our new granddaughter and of course she can't come up with no regular heat, with no water, with no flushing. So both my kids won't be coming down now as a result," said St-Adolphe-D'Howard resident Steve Corbett.
As many as 120,000 homes and businesses were left without power on Saturday after a winter storm slammed into southern Quebec on the weekend before Christmas.
Heavy snow and strong winds brought down tree branches, power lines and damaged equipment after the second major snowstorm in as many days. The cities of Montreal and Laval were largely spared major disruptions.
According to Hydro-Quebec, the majority of its customers without power were to the north of Montreal in the Laurentians, Lanaudiere and Outaouais regions. Some areas have been without power since upwards of 60 centimetres of snow started piling up on Friday morning.
In the northern Laurentians, an area dotted with ski hills, the Hydro-Quebec network had suffered nearly 600 different breakages by noon on Saturday, leaving upwards of 60,000 customers without power.
The utility asked for more patience on Sunday as 700 workers struggled to clear and repair broken power lines. With workers using snowmobiles and snowshoes to get to isolated, wooded areas, Hydro-Quebec has warned taht power might not be restored to everyone before Monday evening—Christmas Eve.