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Montreal-area residents still grappling with aftermath of high winds, power outages

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WATCH: Some Montreal-area residents were still without power on Monday after a wind storm swept the province over the weekend. Hundreds of Hydro-Québec crews have fanned out in some the hardest hit areas and power has been restored in most places. Global News' Phil Carpenter reports – Dec 13, 2021

Some Montreal-area residents remain without power after a wind storm swept through the province over the weekend.

Electricity has been restored to most of the more than 400,000 clients across the province who lost power, but many like Jessica Lazic in St-Lazarre, west of Montreal, only got power restored around 3 p.m. Monday.

“Well, Saturday night we lost power,” she told Global News hours before the power came back.  “We were all sleeping in our rooms. We woke up and it was freezing.”

She said the family of five relied on their fireplace for heat.

Read more: Thousands of customers in Ontario without power after wind storm, Hydro One says

It was challenging with six-month-old twins and a 20-month old daughter, Lazic said, noting they couldn’t shower and she wasn’t able to do laundry.

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“Things are messy,” she stated.  “It’s tough with six months old.  They get messy, they get dirty and things are piling up.

At night, they sleep in front of the fireplace.

“My husband goes to work during the day, but he stayed up at night, making sure that the fire continues and that I get some rest since I’m with the kids all day,” she said.

To make sure food doesn’t go to waste, they kept perishable items in the garage where it’s cool.

Walking along some streets in the town, the sound of generators fill the air — a testament to the number of other families still without power.

“In St-Lazarre right now we have about 370 customers who don’t have power,” explained Hydro Quebec spokesperson Caroline Des Rosiers.  “They are affected by about nine outages.”

That was early afternoon Monday. Across the province at that time, she said, around 30,000 clients were were still without electricity.

“We have over a little over 1,000 people working,” she said.

Read more: In Photos: Tornadoes tear up Mayfield, Kentucky, U.S. Midwest

According to Des Rosiers, though they think 95 per cent of clients will have power restored by Tuesday, the utility company can’t always estimate when power will be restored until crews go on site to see the nature of the problem.

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“Sometimes it’s more complicated, it’s more difficult to access for our teams,” she pointed out.

For people using alternate ways to heat their homes, like generators, she reminds them to use them outdoors.

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