Montreal digs out after massive winter storm buries city
Power is still out for 50,000 Hydro-Québec customers in the Eastern Townships and Montérégie
Montrealers are digging out after a wicked winter storm delivered between 20 and 30 millimetres of freezing rain and 30 centimetres of snow.
That volume of snow is on top of the back-breaking 30 centimetres that fell in last week’s snowstorm.
Montrealers may not have much reprieve before the holidays, either. Starting Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 4 p.m. ET, city employees will be on a holiday break from clearing the streets. They will only resume snow removal efforts at 7 a.m. ET on Boxing Day.
The city said today that crews began snow removal operations last night, but progress is slow. It said it has towed nearly 700 cars so far, a time-consuming task that has significantly reduced the road trucks can cover.
Elsewhere in southern Quebec, power is out for tens of thousands of people. Roughly 30,000 Hydro-Québec customers in the Eastern Townships have been without power for two days now.
In the town of North Hatley, crews are working to restore power in time for Christmas.
"Hydro tells me that most of North Hatley should have power [Monday] evening. Some harder to get to spots could take [until] Christmas Day," said North Hatley Mayor Michael Page.
"In the meanwhile, citizens are welcome to come to the community centre on Capelton Road next to the town hall," he said.
Ski hills in southern Quebec are all boasting at least six new centimetres of snow on the slopes.
Storm system moves out
Freezing drizzle ended in Montreal on Monday afternoon. Skies will remain grey, with temperatures dropping over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Environment Canada is predicting no snow for those days, but there is a chance of snowfall for Dec. 26.
The City of Montreal is asking people to respect parking signs in the meantime while its snowplow operators work to clear the roads and sidewalks.