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Canada

April ice storm cost Hydro-Quebec $14 million due to damage, overtime

Hydro Quebec workers repair power lines in Laval, Que., Wednesday, April 10, 2019 after an ice storm hit the area.
Hydro Quebec workers repair power lines in Laval, Que., Wednesday, April 10, 2019 after an ice storm hit the area. The Canadian Press / Ryan Remiorz

The ice storm that plunged hundreds of thousands of Hydro-Quebec customers into darkness in April cost the provincial utility about $14 million, according to data provided to The Canadian Press.

In comparison, Hydro-Quebec said previously that tornadoes that swept the Gatineau area in September prompted about $8.4 million in damage-related expenditures.

At the height of the outages, which occurred from April 8-12, some 316,000 residential customers in Montreal, Laval, the Laurentians and the Lanaudière region lost power.

READ MORE: CAQ tables bill calling for Hydro-Québec to reimburse customers for overbilling

During peak periods, Hydro-Quebec had up to 1,000 employees in the field, alongside teams from Hydro-Sherbrooke and Vermont’s Green Mountain Power.

Workers — mainly line labourers — put in nearly 45,500 hours of overtime at a cost of about $3.6 million.

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Hydro-Quebec says it’s making efforts to limit overtime, but the Crown corporation will likely see its bill continue to rise in 2019.

Last year, it paid nearly $165 million in additional hours, owing in part to the Gatineau tornadoes and a winter storm in the Iles-de-la-Madeleine.

WATCH: Quebecers want Hydro-Québec’s extra profits back

Quebecers want Hydro-Québec’s extra profits back
Quebecers want Hydro-Québec’s extra profits back
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