Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Gusts deprive thousands of Quebecers

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Thousands of Quebec homes were without electricity Thursday morning due to the violent winds that swept the province Wednesday evening. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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After the sun and heat, rain, snow and violent winds caused hundreds of power outages across Quebec on Wednesday evening.

In its update released at 3:01 p.m. Thursday, Hydro-Québec reported 633 outages in its territory for a total of 35,202 customers without electricity. At the peak of the outages early Thursday morning, some 250,000 customers were without power.

The most affected regions are currently Montérégie (167 outages, 10,759 customers), Estrie (103 outages, 4748 customers), Laurentides (88 outages 4281 customers), Montreal (40 outages, 3415 customers), Chaudière -Appalaches (64 outages, 3141 customers), Centre-du-Québec (47 outages, 2285 customers), Centre-du-Québec (47 outages, 2285 customers) and Outaouais (51 outages, 1647 customers) .

A major breakdown also immobilized three Réseau express métropolitain (REM) trains on Wednesday evening, forcing the organization to interrupt its service until Thursday morning.

A first train was able to be evacuated almost instantly, explained REM spokesperson Francis Labbé. Another, broken down in Pointe-Saint-Charles, near the Costco store, was later evacuated using emergency stairs and the passengers were picked up by buses.

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As for the train stopped on the Samuel-De Champlain Bridge, the task was more complicated. Some of the passengers published on social networks that they had been stuck for almost two hours.

We were trying to replenish the track to be able to remove the train itself with the passengers inside, but it was taking a little while. So, we sent another train to evacuate them, said Mr. Labbé.

According to Hydro-Québec, around a hundred teams were dispatched to the field on Wednesday evening to repair the affected installations. Thursday morning, a total of 470 teams will be working to restore electricity, the state company announced on the social network X.

The state-owned company presented a plan earlier this week to reduce the number of breakdowns by 35% within 7 to 10 years. Hydro-Québec plans to replace 28,000 wooden poles. She also wants to install 500 composite posts, more resistant than wooden posts, in certain strategic locations.

Quebecers have seen all the colors over the last few days. Unusual heat swept across the province on Tuesday. This heat even made its way to Kuujjuaq, in Northern Quebec.

After the heat, the violent winds arrived. Environment Canada had issued warnings of strong winds and sudden cooling of temperatures for almost all regions of Quebec on Wednesday morning, including violent westerly winds blowing up to 90 km/h.

Result: in less than six hours, the temperature in the greater Montreal area went from 13 degrees Celsius to -12 degrees, a thermal range of 25 degrees.< /p>

Thursday, temperatures are expected to stay below freezing by several degrees. They are forecast to rise again on Friday, and starting Saturday, at least four days of spring-like weather are expected to occur in many areas.

With information from The Canadian Press

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