Ottawa's devastating 1998 ice storm, told in compelling pictures

Twenty years later, scenes from the aftermath of the 1998 ice storm — of workers clearing trees, of soldiers providing help, of citizens trying to go about their lives — remain compelling.

Ottawa and surrounding rural communities struck hard by storm

It was two decades ago this week that eastern Ontario and western Quebec were hit with what would end up being a devastating ice storm.

Twenty years later, scenes from the storm's aftermath — of workers clearing trees, of soldiers providing help, of citizens trying to go about their lives — remain compelling.

Here are some of those images.

Ryan Daly feeds horses oats on his family's North Gower farm on Jan. 12, 1998. By that point, people in the area had been without power for a week. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
Clayton Rubec runs two extension cords across the street to his neighbours's houses in Ottawa after a fallen tree branch knocked out power to his house on Jan. 8, 1998. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)
An unidentified pedestrian makes her way through slush and broken tree branches near Parliament Hill on Jan. 6, 1998. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)
Tim Harper wrestles with a tree branch that fell in his front yard during the 1998 ice storm. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
A lone pedestrian crosses an Ottawa street on Jan. 10, 1998. Many streets were closed off during the ice storm because of downed power lines. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)
A military convoy on its way to Ottawa from CFB Petawawa passes a road crew working to repair downed power lines on Jan. 9, 1998. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)
Construction line company worker Dennis Parnell helps restore power by removing trees from power lines in rural south Ottawa during the 1998 ice storm. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Armed Forces vehicles wait at the Corel Centre — now known as the Canadian Tire Centre — for orders to move during the 1998 ice storm. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)
General store owner Steve Fargo checks his stock by lamplight on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ont., on Jan. 11. The ice storm forced the City of Kingston to declare its first ever state of emergency. (John Lehmann/The Canadian Press)
A man walks past a fallen TV transmission tower on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ont., on Jan. 11, 1998. (John Lehmann/The Canadian Press)
Royal Canadian Dragoons Commanding Officer Lt.-Col. Walter Natynczyk briefs the then-defence minister Art Eggleton during a visit to Metcalfe on Jan. 12, 1998. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Hydro workers try to restore power to the town of Saint Isidore, Ont., on Jan. 13, 1998. The ice storm left the small town 75 kilometres east of Ottawa without power for several days. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)
Dairy farmer Gabriel Lafrance holds a sheet of ice in the storage area of his barn in Forest Park, Ont., some 60 kilometres east of Ottawa, on Jan. 15, 1998. The ice storm caused the roof of Lafrance's barn to collapse but didn't harm any of his cows. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
Former Ontario premier Mike Harris talks with reporters in Maxville, Ont., two months after the January 1998 ice storm. He was in the eastern Ontario town to hand out plaques honouring those who helped out. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)


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