Some Hydro-Québec Customers Still Won't Have Power Back On Friday — Here's The Latest Timeline

660,000+ customers were still in the dark as of Friday morning.

Senior Editor
A person walks past fallen branches and a damaged telephone box in Montreal's Parc Laurier following a freezing rain storm on April 5, 2023.

A person walks past fallen branches and a damaged telephone box in Montreal's Parc Laurier following a freezing rain storm on April 5, 2023.

Over 660,000 Hydro-Québec customers still had no power as of 9:30 a.m. Friday, almost two days after a freezing rain storm battered the province. Just over half (340,532) of the remaining households without power were in Montreal.

Powerless hydro clients still numbered in the tens of thousands in five other regions, too: Montérégie (95,530), Laval (80,403), the Laurentides (58,385), Outaouais (54,458) and Lanaudière (33,130).

The Crown utility company announced earlier Friday morning that it had restored electricity to "just over a third" of affected households and that it expected to reconnect another third to the electricity network by the end of the day.

Though it warned that "some more complex cases could go on until the weekend."

That timeline aligns with earlier projections from Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon.

Hydro said it had deployed 1,300 workers in the field to restore power lines, many of which were brought down by fallen tree branches.

On Thursday, the City of Montreal and Red Cross opened six emergency warming centres across the boroughs of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Saint-Léonard, Verdun and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension where residents could spend the night.

The city had also closed its nature parks and Mount Royal and asked residents to avoid all other parks to give crews space to clean up broken branches.

Meanwhile, questions swirled about the state of the province's electricity infrastructure as officials warned increasingly frequent and intense storms will put additional strain on Hydro-Québec's network in the years to come.

Hydro CEO Sophie Brochu said Thursday that the company had "substantially increased its investments" in vegetation control in recent years to "prevent, as much as possible, contact between tree branches and the network." But she said no such measure could prevent the kind of damage brought on by a "freezing rain crisis."

"The kind of weather incidents like the one we just experienced, we're going to have more and more, and they're going to be more and more significant."

"Civil society has to build resilience."

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.