Ice storm in eastern Canada leaves at least two dead and heavy damage
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An ice storm hit Quebec and Ontario, in eastern Canada, causing the death of two people and significant damage, particularly in Montreal, according to a report published Thursday evening. Montreal suffered particularly.
Two people died and nearly a million people were still without electricity on the evening of Thursday April 6 after an ice storm passed through eastern Canada, which caused extensive material damage, particularly in Montreal.
The storm affected Quebec and Ontario, the two most populous provinces in Canada. This is the biggest outage on Quebec’s power grid since the 1998 ice storm, which plunged the province into chaos for several weeks.
Two deaths have been recorded by the authorities: a resident of eastern Ontario killed by a falling tree on Wednesday, and a sixty-something in Quebec fatally injured by a branch while trying to clear his garden Thursday.
“A difficult day”
“It’s a difficult day for Montrealers, for people across Quebec and parts of Ontario who are suffering from power outages,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, traveling to Montreal.
On Thursday evening, road services were still hard at work clearing streets and roads littered with thousands of fallen trees due to the weight of the ice often damaging power lines.
“Montreal is devastated” but the situation is “under control”, said the Quebec Minister of Economy and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, during a press briefing on Thursday, when the warnings for freezing rain were lifted. .
The authorities called for caution, in particular advising against wooded areas and the population from approaching trees and fallen wires. In Montreal, Mount Royal, the hill that dominates the city, has been closed. Many centers have been opened to accommodate residents without electricity, as temperatures approach zero and restoring power to everyone could take several days.
In total, nearly a million homes were still without electricity early Thursday evening, the vast majority of them in Quebec, even if some lines had been restored.
Traffic lights, bicycles, cars, vegetation… in Montreal, everything was covered by a thick layer of ice. 3 to 4 cm of freezing rain fell on the city in a few hours.
“Unfortunately we can think that with climate change there will be more and more events of this type in the coming years”, recognized François Legault, Prime Minister of Quebec.