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Hydro-Québec facing ‘major challenges’ in restoring power after deadly storm

Click to play video: 'Thousands of homes in Quebec still without power' Thousands of homes in Quebec still without power
WATCH: Hydro-Québec is facing 'major challenges' in restoring power after a deadly weekend storm. An estimated 120,000 households were still without power on Tuesday afternoon. As Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions were hit hardest – May 24, 2022

A destructive and deadly spring storm over the weekend has kept thousands of Quebecers in the dark for days.

Hydro-Québec reports about 109,000 households across the southern half of the province are still without power as of around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Affected regions include the Laurentians, Lanaudière and Outaouais.

“Major challenges remain to restore service to customers without power,” the Crown corporation wrote on social media.

Hydro-Québec said it deployed about 700 employees to restore power to customers and that 76 per cent of affected clients are back on the grid.

Read more: Power outages continue after deadly storm that swept through parts of Ontario, Quebec

The lights should be back on for the majority of affected homes by the end of the day.

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“However, we estimate that after tomorrow there will be around 30,000 customers for whom the work could take longer.”

Click to play video: 'Sweeping storm leaves thousands of Quebec homes without power' Sweeping storm leaves thousands of Quebec homes without power
Sweeping storm leaves thousands of Quebec homes without power – May 23, 2022

The storm swept through Quebec and Ontario on Saturday, killing at least 10 people. Heavy rain and powerful winds took down hydro poles, uprooted trees and damaged homes in both provinces.

At the peak, there were 550,000 homes without power in Quebec. The outages stretched from Gatineau to as far as Quebec City.

Click to play video: 'Clean up underway after severe storm passes through Quebec' Clean up underway after severe storm passes through Quebec
Clean up underway after severe storm passes through Quebec – May 22, 2022

With the cleanup still underway, Hydro-Québec’s crews are working around the clock to restore power. Workers are also still dealing with emergency calls.

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“Even after three days on the job, the work in the field is still colossal,” the organization wrote in an update Tuesday afternoon. “Our teams discover uprooted mature trees to be moved, and sections of network to be rebuilt.”

Hydro-Québec says it needs to change many of its poles before it can proceed “with the other repairs.” More than 200 of them have been replaced since the storm hit.

“This takes considerable time.”

with files from The Canadian Press

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