Hydro workers were the heroes last week, after residents of Eastern Ontario and Western Québec were left in the dark when a major ice storm knocked out electrical power in the region.
Residents of Champlain Township, including Vankleek Hill and L’Orignal, saw fallen trees take out power lines and disrupt electrical power during the peak of the storm on Wednesday afternoon (April 5). Many residents in Champlain were without power for more than 24 hours, with the majority of residents getting service back late Thursday afternoon. Some areas remained without electricity into Friday.
In Hawkesbury, damage to a 44,000 volt power line caused a power outage to a sizable portion of residents in the east end of town on April 5. As of 1:40 p.m. on April 6, power was restored on the line. Hydro Hawkesbury thanked Hydro One crews for their efforts and to the Sproule Power Line crews assisting them.
Significant power outages were also recorded in Alfred and Plantagenet, East Hawkesbury, The Nation, Clarence-Rockland and Casselman.
In North Glengarry, some residents were without electricity for four days, with power only coming back on Sunday afternoon (April 9).
In Brownsburg-Chatham, some homes were without power through the weekend. The municipality opened the Salle Louis-Renaud community centre in St-Philippe for residents without power at their homes who required potable water, a place to charge devices, and to use WiFi.
There were long lineups at gas stations that were open in the region, as residents without power travelled to wherever they could find fuel in order to fill up their cars and jerry cans. Many households relied on power from portable generators to keep the lights and heat on at home.
Throughout the storm, The Review provided regular updates on its Facebook page, with many area residents sharing their stories and expressing their appreciation to the hydro workers who were out in the cold working to restore power and to first responders busy dealing with emergencies.
“Thank you to all the women and men who worked effortlessly to help us all be able to stay warm,” wrote Nicole Taylor. “Praying you all get some well deserved rest and stay warm.”
“Thank you to all the Hydro crews and first responders for the last 24 plus hours,” wrote Jenna Boa.
Effects of the storm lingered through the weekend in some areas. As of 9 a.m., on Monday, April 10, Hydro Québec reported that while 95 per cent of the 1,125,000 clients affected by the outage had power restored, there still remained approximately 38,000 households in the province without electricity – most in the Montréal region.