High winds and blackouts

High winds and blackouts
(Photo : Gordon Lambie)

By Geoff Agombar
Local Journalism Initiative

Much of southern Quebec was buffeted by powerful winds throughout Saturday night into Sunday. Winds gusts topped 100 km/h uprooting trees, damaging buildings and tossing around anything not tied down.

Early Sunday, Hydro-Quebec reported outages affecting more than 350,000 customers. The majority of blackouts were in the Montérégie, Laurentides, Outaouais and Lanuadière regions.

In the Eastern Townships, nearly 40,000 customers woke up to no power, or just over one in five customers. Brome-Missisquoi was particularly hard hit with nearly half of customers in the dark (19,173 out of 42,114).

The power outage in Bromont resulted in the closing of the local COVID-19 testing centre and the transfer of all its appointments to Granby.

Sherbrooke escaped largely unscathed, although an apartment building on 13th avenue in Fleurimont lost part of its roof, and Hydro-Sherbrooke reported a little less than 200 outages by mid-morning, especially in the Carrefour de l’Estrie area near the juncture of the 410 and Portland Blvd.

In an early morning tweet, Hydro-Quebec reported 400 linemen had been activated to determine the cause and repair 1,940 outages. By 12:30 p.m. an online update reported active linesman had climbed to more than 600 as the storm continued to evolve and move eastward. “There is a lot of work to be done to clear fallen trees and branches from our power system and make the necessary repairs. Several locations will require the replacement of poles.” The notice warned that due to the high number of active outages, recovery time estimates might not be available in all areas.
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