Hydro-Québec aims to reconnect nearly all customers by Monday
40% of outages are in Montreal
- As of 8 p.m. ET Sunday, more than 51,000 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.
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 5 p.m. on Sunday, about 51,000 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.
Wait time unreasonable, Beaconsfield mayor says
Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said Sunday 60 per cent of the city, which has a population of about 20,000, has been without power for four days.
"People are very frustrated, angered at the situation," he said. "With the extreme weather conditions we have in Quebec, in the winter and in the summer, I don't think it's reasonable to have people wait four to five days for power."
He suggests Hydro-Québec install underground power lines to avoid inconveniencing residences further and paying a hefty price for continually repairing the distribution network. .
"There comes a point where we know it's going to happen several times in the future. It's not an isolated incident," he said. "Even though it may cost a lot of money initially, I think Quebecers are prepared to look at that possibility and, once and for all, have a system that will be much more reliable than what we have right now."
WATCH | Beaconsfield mayor says more than half of city is without power:
To ensure food security for the population, Quebec 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 Mont érégie, 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, Rowan Kennedy and the Canadian Press