Quebec won’t let down thousands still without power after winter storm, premier says

Click to play video: 'Thousands of Quebecers still in the dark after major winter storm'
Thousands of Quebecers still in the dark after major winter storm
Montreal skies have finally cleared after a cocktail of wind, rain, hail and snow that slammed the province over the weekend. But not everyone can see clearly after the storm is gone. As Global News' Gloria Henriquez explains, the weather continues to affect travelers and people across Quebec – Dec 26, 2022

Quebec Premier François Legault says the province won’t let down the thousands of people still in the dark after a major winter storm walloped parts of the southern Quebec late last week.

“I can imagine the frustration,” he wrote in a Twitter message Tuesday afternoon. “Hydro-Québec teams are doing everything possible to reconnect everyone by Wednesday. Some interruptions are in more isolated places and require more time.”

Hydro-Québec says electricity has been restored for 87 per cent of affected customers who lost power as of Tuesday morning. Hard-hit sectors include the Quebec City, Côte-Nord and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean areas.

As of 5 p.m., about 25,000 clients were without electricity. The public utility had about 1,300 workers on the ground throughout the day.

Read more: Major winter storm plunges parts of Quebec into darkness, leaving over 300K without power

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The blast of heavy snow, powerful winds and rain led to school closures, hampered commutes and caused flight delays last Friday. Hydro-Québec reported more than 350,000 clients without electricity at the height of the storm.

It says the remaining work is complex because the storm uprooted trees and downed power lines. In some cases, affected households are in remote areas that are difficult to access.

Click to play video: 'Winter storms cause power outages, flight disruptions across Canada'
Winter storms cause power outages, flight disruptions across Canada

Assistance has come from crews from Canada and the United States. Teams from Sherbrooke, New Brunswick and Maine have lent a helping hand to restore power.

“Teams from other regions where the situation has gone back to normal have been mobilized to sectors where they are most needed,” Hydro-Québec said.

Read more: Thousands of Canadians still in the dark days after fierce storms knocked out power

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In the meantime, those who are still in the dark are advised to stay away from power lines. They should also unplug outlets and lower their home’s temperature to prepare for the lights to go back on.

Hydro-Québec says its teams will remain on the ground until every single client’s service has been brought back. Legault thanked crews, first responders and municipal authorities for their work during Christmas.

“The solidarity of Quebecers is always impressive,” he said.

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