Hundreds of thousands of homes without power in eastern Canada after ice storm

Hundreds of thousands of homes remained without power on Friday in the province of Quebec, two days after an ice storm swept across eastern Canada, causing two deaths and extensive property damage, particularly in Montreal.

Hundreds of thousands of homes without power in eastern Canada after ice storm
Hundreds of thousands of homes without power in eastern Canada after ice storm

We have restored power to just over a third of the people affected by outages caused by the ice storm," electricity provider Hydro-Québec announced.

About 500,000 homes were still dark at noon on Friday, compared with 1.1 million at the height of the event.

"Hydro-Québec solved about 50% of the situations and our goal is that by tonight around 80% of the residences will be connected again and by tomorrow night 95%," he informed the press. Quebec Prime Minister François Legault. "Patience and be prudent," he urged the population.

"We know that for some customers (the problem) will last until Sunday, or possibly Monday," said Régis Tellier, a spokesman for Hydro-Québec.

"More favorable weather conditions" throughout the day should "expedite service restoration," he added.

The city of Montreal, which has recorded about half of all power outages, has opened six temporary emergency housing centers where residents without power can spend the night.

- Poisoning -

Accompanied by her mother and her two children aged 8 and 3, Rosalie Gouba regretted having had to throw away part of the food reserves she had for the coming months due to the lack of electricity.

"The first night was very difficult because I am afraid to sleep in complete darkness. Since I am stressed, the children are too," said the 30-year-old mother.

Canadian authorities recorded two deaths: an eastern Ontario resident crushed by a tree on Wednesday and a 60-year-old man struck by a branch while trying to clear his yard on Thursday in Quebec.

They also reported around 60 poisonings with carbon monoxide, due in some cases to the use of inadequate elements to heat homes.

Hundreds of municipal workers continue to be deployed on the affected land, especially in parks covered in tree branches that collapsed under the weight of the ice that fell on them. The gusts of wind that still persist threaten to aggravate the problem.

The storm basically affected Quebec and Ontario, the two most populous provinces in Canada.

This is the biggest outage in Quebec's power grid since the 1998 ice storm, which plunged the province into chaos for several weeks.

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