Upwards of 200,000 Hydro-Québec clients lost power Thursday afternoon amid brutally hot and humid weather in the southern part of the province, but the hydro utility was working to restore it by early evening.
The majority of the clients who lost power were in Montreal, where the afternoon heat hit a high of 33 C and felt like 38 with humidity.
“Recovery on the affected high-voltage line is in progress. We will soon be able to begin restoring service in the affected neighborhoods,” Hydro-Québec said in an updated statement, adding that the majority should get service back by late afternoon or early Thursday evening.
The hydro utility said the most affected areas included the Ville-Marie, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Saint-Laurent boroughs, as well as the Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Kirkland, Town of Mount Royal and Beaconsfield areas.
An earlier statement said a problem with a transmission line is what knocked out power to nearly 200,000 customers — over 198,000 of whom were in Montreal.
Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport said some of its operations were disrupted due to the major electrical failure as well.
“Power failure at YUL: gradual resumption of operations, but some systems remain affected,” a statement from the airport said. “Please check your flight schedule.”
By Thursday evening several flights were still listed as delayed or cancelled, but it was unclear whether those problems were caused by the blackout.
Hydro-Québec spokesperson Caroline Des Rosiers said authorities were investigating what happened and weren’t ruling out high temperatures in southern Quebec as the cause.
Montreal’s public health department has information on how to stay safe and avoid heat-related health issues here.