In Quebec, thousands remain without power Monday after a major winter storm swept through the southern half of the province in time for the holidays.
Hydro-Québec reports that more than 55,000 clients are still without electricity as of 3 p.m. on Boxing Day. The Quebec City, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord regions are among the most affected areas.
The CEO of the public utility told reporters that weather conditions on Christmas made for another difficult day. Sophie Brochu said the goal is to restore power to the majority of households by Wednesday’s end, but she couldn’t promise that nobody would be in the dark by New Year’s Eve.
“We are working really, really hard to get to the last customers,” she said. “Today and tomorrow will be long.”
Read more: Major winter storm plunges parts of Quebec into darkness, leaving over 300K without power
Crews are working to restore power but the majority of remaining outages affect a small number of people at a time — which is why it is taking long to fix, according to Hydro-Québec. Private companies are lending a hand to get the lights back on, too.
“It’s very difficult at this point of time to provide timing for restoration delays,” Brochu said. “It’s like a surgery, we still have at least 2,000 outages.”
Brochu also told Quebecers to stay safe and to reach out to municipal authorities if they need help. Don’t attempt to fix the outages yourself, she added.
- Liberal MP Han Dong secretly advised Chinese diplomat in 2021 to delay freeing Two Michaels: sources
- Interested in booking a campsite in Alberta’s mountains? Parks Canada has some tips
- Canada housing market: What to expect this spring as prices drop
- Shake Shack to come to Canada in 2024 with first location set for Toronto
“Refrain yourself from doing the work, refrain yourself from touching wires on the ground,” she said.
The messy cocktail of powerful winds, snow and ice left than 350,000 in the dark by late Friday afternoon. Aside from power outages, the winter storm closed schools, prompted road collisions and wreaked havoc on travel plans in the province.
After cancelling all Christmas Day trains on its Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal routes, Via Rail tweeted Sunday evening that it was also cancelling all Boxing Day trains on the corridors due to the ongoing complications.
CN confirmed in a statement that the tracks where its train derailed on Christmas Eve will be reopened Tuesday and said Via Rail plans to run all trains on the route, but on a modified schedule.
— With files from The Canadian Press