February 14, 2012 — A winter storm that pushed into Quebec on Saturday caused widespread power outages in Magdalen Islands.
Strong winds and freezing rain brought down 200 utility poles in Magdalen Islands (Iles-de-la-Madeleine), leaving thousands of people in the dark. At the height of the storm 3,600 customers were without power.
Hydro-Quebec said 2,500 were still affected as of Monday morning, but an emergency plan had been put in place.
Two ferries loaded with utility trucks, new poles, and 75 crews were chartered from the eastern Prince Edward Island port of Souris to help restore damages.
Officials are still unsure as to when power will be fully restored, but in the meantime, three emergency centres have been opened for residents who require them.
Quebec Premier Jean Charest toured the affected area on Wednesday with the CEO of Hydro-Québec, Thierry Vandal.
Improving weather through the day on Tuesday helped workers restore power to about 1,300 households. The cold weather is also becoming less of a threat to residents without electricity, as temperatures are forecast to climb above the freezing mark later this week.
Magdalen Islands is a small archipelago located in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence between Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island and is home to about 14,000 people.