Thousands still without power in Quebec after major snowstorm

"Should I be moving somewhere where there is power?" asks Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident Violet Horvath, who has been without power for 24 hours following Thursday’s April snowstorm in Montreal. Swidda Rassy reports.

By News Staff

There were still over 49,000 customers without power Friday morning after a snowstorm passed through Quebec on Thursday. 

As of 8 a.m., Hydro-Quebec says the areas most affected are the Laurentians (16,743), Montérégie (6,669) and Outaouais (11,158). In Montreal, 1,564 were still off the grid.

Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings yesterday, where more than 20 centimetres of snow was recorded in Montreal. 

Hydro said that many power lines were on the ground due to strong winds and the heavy weight of snow on the branches.

“The restoration is going well,” said Louis-Olivier Batty, spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec on Friday morning. “We have less than 50,000 clients without power and we expect the work to be done by the end of the day.”

As of 2 p.m. the number at 34,000 customers still in the dark. By 4:30 p.m. it was down to 19,000 Hydro clients without electricity.

Violet Horvath is a resident of Dollard-des-Ormeaux here in the West Island of Montreal.

She said her frustration is growing because she’s been off the grid since Thursday afternoon.

Violet Horvath
D.D.O resident Violet Horvath, April 5 2024. (Swidda Rassy, CityNews Montreal)

“We just very angry because, they have to do something,” said Horvath. “My daughter’s still upstairs shivering in bed with blankets. We’re waiting. We’re waiting.”

To make matters worse, according to the D.D.O. resident, she said that they lose power on sunny days, without any wind.

“It just goes out on a sunny, beautiful, hot day. Boom, no power. The prices are going up every year tremendously for Hydro, which is unacceptable, and yet we’re having power outages over and over again.”

Hydro-Quebec tells CityNews in a statement that the power outage in Horvath’s neighbourhood was caused “by a large tree that was uprooted by yesterday’s strong winds” and “cannot be resolved in just a few hours” as Hydro workers needed to dismantle a resident’s fence to cut down the tree.

Hydro-Quebec said their goal is to reduce the number of outages by 35 per cent over the next seven to 10 years by investing more in the distribution network, particularly in vegetation control.

(Credit: Hydro-Quebec)
(Credit: Hydro-Quebec)

The power company says to consult their website for more information, and that the times to restore service shown on the map are approximate and may vary due to the number of outages and the kind of damage.

According to Hydro-Quebec, they have 1,200 workers on the ground trying to get power back to customers as quickly as possible.

Dollard-des-Ormeaux houses
Houses are seen in Dollard-des-Ormeaux after a snowstorm, April 5 2024. (Swidda Rassy, CityNews Montreal)

CityNews weather specialist Stella Acquisto said that the weather will warm up this weekend, resulting in most of the snow melting away. 

“We’re expecting some sunshine by the weekend, and that sunshine does last pretty much for the next few days. In fact, temperature -wise, we’re actually warming up,” she said. “The 20 centimetres of snow that fell in Montreal is going to melt and that’s because temperature wise, we’re actually above the freezing mark.”

Environment Canada is predicting rain for the rest of the afternoon on Friday, with a high of plus 4 degrees and a low of plus 1 degrees.

Saturday will be mainly cloudy, with wind gusts up to 20 km/h and a high of plus 6 and a low of minus 1.

The sun will return on Sunday, with a high of plus 11 degrees and a low of 1 degree.

“We’re seeing so much sunshine for the next few days, so that’s something that we have to look forward to,” said Acquisto.

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