MONTREAL, July 21, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A front of severe thunderstorms and high winds swept through southern Québec Friday evening, causing numerous outages, mainly in the greater Montréal area and Montérégie region as well as in the Laurentides, Laval, Lanaudière, Outaouais and Centre-du-Québec. These were followed on Saturday night by thunderstorms in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
Hydro-Québec mobilized all available resources to restore service as soon as possible. At the height of the disturbances, nearly 560,000 customers were without power. Since that time, service has been restored to 460,000 households. In total, Hydro-Québec had to deal with approximately 6,000 outages.
The power system sustained heavy damages because of the very large number of trees and branches that fell on the lines. This situation is making it harder for crews to repair the system, since they must first clear all the debris.
At 1:00 PM on Sunday, there were still nearly 1,900 outages affecting about 100,000 customers throughout Québec.
Hydro-Québec expects to restore service to the various regions as follows:
Laval, Laurentides, Lanaudière and Outaouais: Service restoration is under way. Hydro-Québec expects that 70% of affected customers will have their power back on some time Sunday. Major efforts are being deployed to rebuild the portions of the grid that sustained heavy damages. In some of the hardest hit areas, the work could go on until early in the week.
Montréal: Service has been restored to the vast majority of customers. Restoration efforts will continue until Monday in the eastern part of the city and in some areas on the West Island, where the most extensive damages occurred.
Montérégie: Nearly all affected customers have their power back on, and service should be completely restored by early Sunday evening in the hardest hit areas.
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean: Service should be restored to all customers by the end of the day.
Hundreds of Hydro-Québec employees and contractors are still hard at work, including crews from eastern Québec and about 100 workers from other utilities who came to lend a hand. Every effort is being made to restore service to as many customers as possible in the shortest possible time.
Hydro-Québec would like to remind its customers to stay away from power lines and to exercise caution when working near its facilities.
The company wishes to thank all affected customers for their patience and understanding.
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