Warmth and good people around you: that’s what you can’t do without in life, after all.
Hydro-Quebec customers and their families who were still without power on Monday—there were roughly 15,000 still in that position at the end of the evening—would have done well without this reminder of their basic needs. Some of them, however, were full of gratitude.
On Monday afternoon, at the private residence of Les Jardins Beaurepair, in Beaconsfield—a wealthy suburb west of the island of Montreal—the elderly tenants of the place were of course very anxious to have the electricity back on, but congratulated themselves on being so well surrounded.
Everyone had nothing but good words for Fiona Griffiths. A retired nurse and experienced camper, M.DI Griffiths had all the equipment in her home to survive a long, long power outage and bring it to all of those neighbors. A little cappuccino, anyone?
“Always be prepared for any eventuality, that’s the motto of a good camper!” To launch MI Griffiths.
It must be said that Beaconsfield definitely woke up again with a hilarious look on Monday.
Drenched in darkness, the Jardins Beaurepaire residence even had horror-movie ambiance when owner Omar Rifai—appropriately a pruner by trade and a chainsaw—appeared in the living room where he had been gathering residents together since Wednesday to bask in the warmth of a gas grill.
“We meet to eat, the tenants’ kids bring us lots of dishes, it smells like good coffee. For a social life, this breakdown is great!” said Robert Couture, who said Monday he still looks forward to taking a hot shower.
“Long live Fiona! And long live our owner, who is also absolutely wonderful! Ann Marie Kopanek, a new resident, said.
The owner, Mr. Rifai, was on all fronts – and on the roof – cleaning up the still visible damage left by Wednesday’s freezing rain. and that, while in the house, on the banks of the river, the two pumps had to be watched at all hours of the day and night to prevent the water from rising in the basement.
While her father took care of his hospice, Kelly Elrefai stood guard at the family home.
What do I miss the most, like all the people he met? Computer? the television? “No! The heat!” Kelly Rifai replied.
Hundreds of employees are still swarming
Because, paradoxically, if the weather was great in Montreal – up to 17 degrees – and the sun was really like spring, then it was cold and damp in the houses.
So Susan Johnston, in her coat, in her living room, reminds us that she has had no electricity “since Wednesday at 1:34 p.m.”
“We are really among the last of those who still don’t have electricity,” she said in the afternoon, while also dreaming of a hot shower.
At least the Hydro-Quebec employees were right up his street. William de Carrovel still had a 16-hour day. Usually assigned to the underground power grid in downtown Montreal, he was happy to be in the field. “I’m happy to move. Remote work, tasks behind a computer, my legs hurt a lot.”
Back on Monday, Hydro-Quebec’s 1,600 employees were hard at work on the ground.
Many of those interviewed felt as if they were the last ones still in the dark, sometimes looking longingly at the no longer cold next door neighbor.
At the end of the evening, Hydro-Québec calculated that 9,773 homes in Montreal, 2,182 customers in the Outaouais and another 1,528 in Montérégie (the three hardest-hit regions) remained without power.
In all, nearly 1.1 million Hydro-Québec customers have been affected by the power outage since Wednesday.
Back to class
After the sunny Easter break (and without electricity for some), most Quebecers go back to school on Tuesday. In Montreal, most schools will be open, but some private institutions are on vacation through Wednesday. If an institution is denied authority, parents will be notified, and the Montreal School Service Center notified. In addition, children will have to bring lunch on Tuesdays, as food supply in cafeterias is reduced at the beginning of the week due to food losses associated with power outages.
Leah Carrier, Journalism
- 100 mm
- The amount of freezing rain that fell during the 1998 crisis
Source: Statistics Canada
- 20 to 30 mm
- The amount of freezing rain that fell on Wednesday
Source: Environment Canada
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