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As power outages drag on, this Quebec mayor says it’s time to protect the grid from future storms

If the trend continues, Hydro-Québec should be able to restore electricity by the end of the day to 95 per cent of its customers who lost power after Wednesday's ice storm.

40% of outages are in Montreal

A Hydro-Québec crew works on a power line following an ice storm in Montreal.

The latest:

  • As of 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, more than 100,000 Hydro-Québec customers were still without power.
  • Hydro-Québec says most households will have power back within 24 hours.
  • The Quebec government is allowing big box grocery stores in certain regions to be open Easter Sunday.
  • More than 900,000 customers have regained power from the peak of 1.1 million on Thursday.
  • 2 people have died, one after being hit by a falling branch, the other after using a generator in a garage.
  • 147 people in Montreal have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • The City of Montreal is starting to issue parking tickets on residential streets again.
  • If the power or data on your device is low, get your storm updates on CBC Lite. It's our low-bandwidth, text-only website.
  • To keep an eye on the outages, click here.

If the trend continues, Hydro-Québec should be able to restore electricity, by the end of the day, to 95 per cent of its customers who lost power after Wednesday's ice storm.

As of 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, about 100,000 of the 1.1 million customers who lost power this week have yet to be reconnected.

Saturday morning, the company estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 customers would have to wait until Monday, at the earliest, to have their power restored.

Régis Tellier, Hydro-Québec vice-president of operations, said at a news conference Sunday that with the number of outages decreasing, the company was on track to reconnect the vast majority of clients today. However, a few complex outages could take until Tuesday to repair.

The public utility restored power to more than 180,000 customers yesterday, he said.

Maxime Nadeau, director of energy system control at Hydro-Québec, said more than 1,500 workers are currently on the streets rerouting power and fixing broken power lines.

He said it is prioritizing restoring power to the largest outages in the grid.

"We really are restoring power at the same rhythm everywhere," he said. "In Montreal specifically, we have more than 40 per cent of outages, and we have the same ratio of our teams out there today to restore power as soon as possible to everybody."

Tellier also urged customers receiving fraudulent text messages to consult the company's social media accounts for accurate information.

"Unfortunately, there are people taking advantage of this situation to make a profit," he said.

The Montreal area remained the hardest hit, with over 76,000 customers without power Sunday morning.

The other regions affected by outages on Sunday are Outaouais, Montérégie, Laval and the Laurentians.

"Our crews often have to act as lumberjacks before they can even try to repair an outage," Francis Labbé, a spokesperson for Hydro-Québec, said Sunday morning.

To ensure food security for the population, the government announced Saturday some grocery stores in the most affected regions would be allowed to remain open despite the Easter holiday.

Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said grocery stores can reopen in Montreal, Laval, Lanaudière, the Montérégie, the Outaouais, and the Lower Laurentians.

The stores can be open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., but store hours will vary according to the company.

The government also said that more than 100 emergency centres have opened in the most affected regions to allow people to warm up, eat and recharge their electronic devices.

With files from Sabrina Jonas, Elias Abboud and Rowan Kennedy

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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