On Tuesday afternoon, more than 10,000 customers remained without power across Quebec, the majority of them in Montreal.
“We were warming up water with a fondue heater,” said Giancarlo Tonks, a Pierrefonds resident. “We had a fire pit in our backyard and we’d turn it on and sit by it in the morning.”
A spokesperson for Hydro-Québec says the remaining outages are in locations with mature trees that were weighed down by ice — like Montreal’s West Island.
The public utility says its goal is to have most restored by the end of the day Tuesday but admits that may not be possible.
The remaining outages are complex and it can’t promise exactly when power will be restored.
Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough mayor Jim Beis says at the peak of the storm last week, around 80 to 90 per cent of the roughly 28,000 homes in the borough were affected by the power outage.
One of the biggest reasons, he says, is because of the number of trees in the community.
“We have the second largest canopy of trees in Montreal,” said Beis. “And we also know and Hydro knows this, that 40 per cent, if not more, of the trees that are bordering Hydro lines are the ones that caused a lot of these issues.”
Beis and neighbouring Dollard-des-Ormeaux mayor Alex Bottausci say there needs to be a bigger dialogue between the public utility and municipalities about how to minimize effects on the network during weather events moving forward.
“Is it a question of burying all the lines? Maybe that’s a part solution, it may not be the full solution,” said Bottausci. “But I think we need to have these conversations on how to better manage the environment and the greenery that surrounds us that we love so much in the West Island.”