Quebec wind storm leaves thousands without power
Thousands of Hydro Quebec customers were without power Tuesday morning after strong winds swept over several regions of the province overnight.
The utility company says a depression over the Great Lakes was responsible for the strong winds.
In a statement on its website, Hydro-Québec says over 400 teams were dispatched to restore power.
The hardest hit areas were Quebec City,Chaudière-Appalaches region and Montreal. At the peak of the storm, some 30,000 customers in Montreal were without power. By 10 a.m., that number was closer to 5,000.
In Montreal, uprooted trees and snapped branches not only downed power lines but also caused property damage.
Alex Chabar, a Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dâme-de-Grâce (CDN–NDG) resident says he feels lucky. His vehicle only had a few little dents after a mature tree fell across the street.
“It’s like I win in Loto-Québec,” he told Global News.
Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery echoed the sentiment.
“We’ve really been lucky it’s only been property damage so far,” she said.
Some residents, however, feel as though luck may be running out.
“We have old trees on this street,” said CDN–NDG resident Pierre-Paulin. “Some of them are like 100 years old.”
“Every time we have strong winds or freezing rain, the branches are falling on cars and stuff like that happens every year.”
Paulin feels as though the city could be doing more.
“I have this tree, I’ve called the city on it already, but they take a very long time to react on those matters,” he said.
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Montgomery agreed the wait is long.
“That’s been the problem in the past,” she said, “I think the backlog is like a three- to five-year wait to have your tree inspected or trimmed.”
Montgomery called the situation ” unacceptable” and explained the borough had hired extra staff to deal with the issue.
“In our budget for next year, we put two more horticultural technicians on staff,” she said.
“That’s where the backlog is — having inspectors go around saying ‘this tree is dead or this tree needs this.'”
The borough will also have three to four additional blue-collar workers tasked with cutting and trimming.
Montgomery said she was hopeful the changes would make a difference in the near future.
“It doesn’t answer the issue for last night’s wind or tomorrow’s wind, but I’m hoping we’ll see improvement really soon.”
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