January 5, 2017 2:04 pm
Updated: January 5, 2017 6:53 pm

Saint-Lazare opens emergency shelter after power outages

WATCH ABOVE: High winds have hampered efforts by Hydro-Quebec to restore power after freezing rain and snow blanketed much of the province. As Kelly Greig reports, the Saint-Lazare community centre has opened its doors to help those still in the dark.

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While the day dawned clear and bright Thursday, many Quebecers living in Saint-Lazare remained in the dark.

Hydro-Quebec crews in the western-Montreal town wade through knee-deep snow to access electrical lines.

“Crews did the repairs, then winds came again and the power failed,” said Hydro-Quebec spokesperson Geneviève Chouinard.

“In some places, we had to repair it three or four times.”

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READ MORE: Tens of thousands without power in Quebec

Many people in Saint-Lazare have been without power for the past 24 hours, forcing an emergency shelter to be opened at the community centre so residents aren’t left in the cold.

“It’s a great idea because you can get a coffee, get some warmth, have a nap or two,” said Albert Oclo, who spent the night in the shelter.

According to mayor Robert Grimaudo, a third of the town was still without power on Thursday.

READ MORE: Snowfall in Quebec could create ‘hazardous’ winter conditions

“If they have no other way of heating the home, turn off the water, drain the pipes and leave,” he said.

“We open the doors. It’s not a complicated thing to do, but it is very helpful to the resident.”

READ MORE: Montreal transit buses, cars, trucks slam into each other in winter weather

Thousands remain without power across the province.

“We hope most of them will get the power back by the end of the afternoon,” said Chouinard.

“In some areas that are more affected, that could last a little longer.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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