Strong storms: at least nine dead and hundreds of thousands of homes in the dark

A 51-year-old woman has died on the Ottawa River near Masson-Angers after her pontoon capsized.

In Ontario, at least eight people have died after being struck by windblown trees.

West of Ottawa, an octogenarian was pronounced dead at hospital after being struck by a branch in her Ferguson Falls yard.

A 44-year-old man died in the Madawaska metropolitan area, while a 59-year-old man died on a golf course west of the city, authorities said.

Another person was killed when a tree fell on a camping trailer near Lake Pinehurst in the Waterloo region, Ontario Provincial Police said.

Four other people suffered the same fate: a 30-year-old man in the Ganaraska forest, west of Oshawa; a septuagenarian strolling through Brampton; a 64-year-old woman from North Kawartha Township in the Peterborough area; and a 74-year-old woman in Port Hope, Northumberland County.

The storm left breakages and power outages in its wake.

Around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, 283,715 Hydro-Québec customers were still in darkness, mainly in the Outaouais, Lanaudière and Laurentians. On Saturday, at the height of the storm, 550,000 customers lost power.

In Ontario, 227,991 Hydro One customers were without power at the time of writing, as were more than 170,000 homes powered by Hydro Ottawa.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says reconnect work It could take two to three days.

Two women survey the damage after the storm.

Photo: Canadian Press/Justin Tang

During this time, Hydro-Québec indicates that it has deployed 500 teams of two technicians each to reconnect its subscribers who are still without power. Hydro-Québec employees are supported by New Brunswick private workers and contractors.

Up to 50% of homes that suffered a power outage on Saturday should get electricity back overnight, according to a Hydro-Québec spokesman, Maxence Huard-Lefebvre. The state corporation is hopeful that this rate will increase to 80% in the next 24 hours.

About 20% of subscribers will have to wait a little longer due to the magnitude of the damage and the complexity of the work to be done.

We are talking about sections of the network to be rebuilt, inaccessible sections, sometimes behind houses in more wooded areas. […]. Represents several hours of work. »

a quote from Maxence Huard-Lefebvre, Hydro-Quebec

On Twitter, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, wanted to thank the Hydro-Quebec teams.

Additionally, Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered his condolences to the loved ones of the storm victims. He also did not fail to highlight the work of Hydro One technicians and lifeguards in the field.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, also wanted to highlight the work of the crews working to restore power. In a Twitter post, she said the federal government was ready to offer help if needed.

considerable damage

The storm caused extensive damage from southern Ontario to central Quebec. A concrete example: the church of Saint-Fidèle de Fassett, whose bell tower collapsed due to the force of the wind.

St. Faithful Church in Fassett was damaged by severe thunderstorms on Saturday.

Photo: Chantale Lauzon (Facebook)

The approximately 400 residents of this town remained without electricity on Sunday afternoon, according to Mayor François Clermont.

In Lanaudière, two schools were damaged by the weather. These are the Sainte-Bernadette school in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes and the Saint-Alphonse school in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, according to a note published by the Samares School Services Center, which says it is working with experts to assess the situation organize the return to class safely.

Strong gusts also wreaked havoc in the Quebec region, where even ripped off the roof of a residential building of 72 houses, forcing the evacuation of its inhabitants. The occupants of the three upper floors of the building had not yet been able to return to their accommodation early Sunday morning.

Roof debris from 1425 rue Isabelle-Aubert in Quebec was found a hundred meters away.

Photo: Steve Jolicoeur

In Val-Morin, in the Laurentians, the authorities are asking residents to reduce drinking water consumption to a minimum. Due to the blackout, the supply of water produced by our pumping stations is paralyzedthe Municipality wrote on its Facebook page.

Communication and supply problems

High winds disrupted cell towers in some areas.

On Sunday afternoon, the network was unstable, even down, in certain Lanaudière municipalities such as Sainte-Mélanie, Sainte-Béatrix and Saint-Félix-de-Valois, north of Joliette, complicating communications between authorities and the citizens.

We try to inform our citizens that they can come [à la caserne de pompiers] if they need water because their well is no longer working, but communications are quite difficultexplained Audrey Boisjoly, mayor of Saint-Félix-de-Valois.

A Bell Canada spokeswoman confirmed that some customers in eastern Ontario and Quebec [peuvent] experience interruptions in service as a result of high winds and rain. The company claims work to restore service safely and as quickly as possible.

In the Laurentides, power outages, which affected more than 120,000 customers earlier in the evening, prompted a flood of gas stations. Several residents tried to get gasoline to run their generator. However, only service stations equipped with generators could continue to operate.

A local resident says he visited ten service stations before getting fuel, enough to power his generator until tomorrow.

Vigilance in these aftermath of the storm

Several municipalities reported fallen trees and material damage. Even downed trees can pose a risk, especially if power lines and poles have been damaged.

An electrical cable should always be considered as if it were alive.recalls Daniel Dancause, an expert in emergency measures.

In these aftermath of the storm, Health and security they are the slogans of the people who will have to clean the land, including volunteers and neighbors, adds Mr. Dancause. it’s not the time to improvise mowerHe insists.

Watch for storms and tornadoes

Environment Canada forecasters reiterated their calls for caution Sunday as they monitored the formation of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes south of the St. Lawrence River.

Tornado watches were issued for Estrie, Beauce and Montmagny-L’Islet before being lifted in the early afternoon.

However, strong storms are still expected in various sectors of the Lower Saint Lawrence and over much of New Brunswick.

High winds, large hail and heavy rain are also possible, Environment Canada warns.

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