Heavy snow blamed for widespread power outages

Heavy snow blamed for widespread power outages

Sunnyside braves the cold, serves up hot chocolate


By William Crooks


Local Journalism Initiative


On the morning of Nov. 27, many in the Townships woke up with no electricity after the first substantial snowfall of the season. From Stanstead to Georgeville, Richmond to Ayer’s Cliff, spots of power outage dotted the region in darkness. Rolling with the punches, Sunnyside Elementary held special activities and a creative lunch for the students that braved the slippery Stanstead roads to attend school.

“It was a mix of heavy snow and rain that was a little all over the place,” said Sébastien Martineau, Hydro Quebec’s Community Relations Advisor for the Estrie region. There are outages everywhere, he continued, caused by the wet snow weighing down branches and touching or breaking the power lines underneath. Some whole trees came down.

For some outages, it is easy for Hydro Quebec to predict when they will be fixed. When the outage is merely caused by a branch temporarily touching and shorting out the line, they have a method of restoring power “long-distance”. If a branch continues to touch the line, or has broken it, flesh and blood workers need to be sent to fix the problem. Sometimes that means lengthy repairs, including managing the offending branch or tree or even changing the utility pole.

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