Back in March 2021, I wrote in this very section about the ice storm that had hit Texas. I concluded in the end that it was not really my place to point the finger at the state’s lack of preparedness, given eastern Canada’s lack of preparedness during the 1998 ice storm that affected us 25 years ago (happy silver anniversary!).
In present day Quebec (and Montreal specifically), we experienced an unexpected sense of deja-vu when, low-and-behold, another ice storm hit the area on April 5th. Not as severe as 1998, but still a large proportion of the Montreal region was once again plunged into darkness, which meant no electricity and, unlike in 1998, no Internet as well (yes, I know, the Internet was around in 1998, but without the stranglehold it has on our lives like it does now).
So did Hydro Quebec do a better job of dealing with the emergency this time around compared to 1998? If I strictly look at my own personal situation, I went 4 days with power this time around, as opposed to 2 weeks as I did in 1998. So by those numbers, I should be happy. That of course did not stop me from cursing (loudly in my mind) every 5 minutes or so that my power was still off yet I was seeing other neighbourhoods regain their power almost immediately.
But overall I do feel that Hydro Quebec dealt with this storm better than the previous one, so kudos where they are due for lessons learnt and improvements made. That said, this ice storm took place during the warmer month of April, whereas the 1998 storm occurred in January and continued into February, the veritable “dead of winter”, so not exactly the same “test conditions”. And no, I am not wishing for an ice storm to strike in January 2024 😉
Hopefully by the time you read this, your power has returned and you are back to surfing Internet-style and not sleeping under 2 blankets and wearing 3 layers of clothing. All the best for a warm summer.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.
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