Hydro-Québec Warns Some Customers Might Be In The Dark For Days

Over 1,000,000 customers provincewide had no power Thursday morning.

Senior Editor
A fallen tree branch blocks a Montreal street after a freezing rain storm on April 5, 2023.

A fallen tree branch blocks a Montreal street after a freezing rain storm on April 5, 2023.

Hydro-Québec is scrambling to restore power to over 1 million customers provincewide after Wednesday's freezing rain storm felled trees and brought down power lines. In Montreal alone, there were 483,875 customers without electricity as of 7 a.m. Thursday.

Widespread Hydro-Québec outages have also struck the Montérégie (198,386 customers), Outaouais (127,374), Laurentides (108,263), Laval (102,471), and Lanaudière (63,826) regions.

The company said Thursday morning it had deployed 1,000 employees to the field to restore power lines but that given the immense amount of work to be done, "it is difficult for us to provide precise recovery times." Some customers, it added, might not see electricity return for several days.

"We are confident that we will be able to restore power to some of the affected customers [Thursday]," the company wrote on social media. "Unfortunately, it is already expected that some customers will still be without power on Friday and this weekend. We will maintain a presence on the ground as long as there are still customers without power."

Hydro-Québec also warned further outages could be possible as inclement weather continues.

The utility promised further updates on the situation in a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.

At least the weather is set to get cheerier. Environment Canada's Thursday forecast for Montreal calls for "periods of drizzle" until 9 a.m. followed by a "mix of sun and cloud" through the late afternoon. The federal weather agency also predicts the temperature will shoot up, peaking at 11 C at 2 p.m.

Quebec's Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches regions were still under a freezing rain warning Thursday morning.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.