Bad weather deprived more than 350,000 Hydro-Québec customers of electricity
Thousands of Quebecers could spend New Year’s Eve and December 25 without electricity, while 1,100 Hydro-Québec employees will work almost tirelessly to restore power and bring back the magic of Christmas to the cottages of the province.
• Read also: Winter storm: nearly 350,000 homes without electricity in Quebec
• Read also: Major outages: Stoneham ready to welcome its citizens
• Read also: [EN IMAGES] Christmas market destroyed, car shelters blown away: high winds do damage to Quebec
« It’s clear that not everyone is going to have electricity at Christmas, » said Friday evening the communications advisor for Hydro-Québec, Annie Beaudoin.
At least 354,610 customers were still without power as of 10 p.m. Friday.
The regions of the Capitale-Nationale, Montérégie and Montreal were the most affected, while new blackouts hit hundreds of homes in Chaudière-Appalaches, Centre-du-Québec and Estrie.
« What we’re aiming for right now is to restore the majority of customers for Sunday evening, Christmas Eve, » reiterated Éric Fillion, executive vice-president for the state-owned company.
Celebrate with candles
Thousands of Quebecers will still have to light up with candles for the first Christmas since the pandemic.
Photo provided by Élina Perron
Élina Perron, her mother Liza and her uncle Yvon had no electricity when they arrived at the family cottage, near Lake Massawippi, in the Eastern Townships, where they are to spend their New Year’s Eve with the family.
Élina Perron’s family hesitated to go to her cottage near Lake Massawippi, in the Eastern Townships, because of road conditions. Finally, the trip from Montreal went well, but when he arrived, the chalet was plunged into darkness.
The young woman is hopeful that the electricity will return for the slow cooker meal planned for New Year’s Eve, which will be attended by several family members from the region, but also from the United States.
“We have candles, ready-to-eat and board games for tonight, but for tomorrow [samedi]we don’t really have a plan B,” says Élina Perron.
In Saint-Benoît-Labre, in Beauce, the vast majority of the village was without power.
« The only gas station didn’t have a generator, » says Marie-Christine Roy, who had to wait an hour and a half for her husband to bring cans of gasoline from the neighboring village before going to a wedding in Beauceville. .
When he arrived at the hotel, there was no electricity.
Plunged into darkness, many businesses have moved up their closing times by a day, such as the Barry restaurant in Bedford, in the Eastern Townships.
« We can’t run the fans and it’s dark, so we decided to close, » says canteen owner Stephanie Barry.
Hardware stores, medical clinics and car dealerships announced their closure in the affected regions.