Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Thousands still without power after New Brunswick ice storm

New Brunswick Power continues to work through a tangled mess of wires and poles after a significant ice storm last week left 200,000 in the dark. Hydro Quebec has sent 25 crews to assist.
Nearly 12,000 customers with New Brunswick Power remain in the dark after a brutal ice storm last week. The storm in question, was the same system that gave freezing rain to Montreal on January 24. Eastern New Brunswick, and particularly the Acadian Peninsula bore the brunt of the storm with 25 to 40mm of freezing rain. The weight of the ice toppled thousands of trees and hydro poles, taking down electrical wires with them. At the height of the storm over 200,000 customers were in the dark. In the last 24 hours that number has dropped considerably, but it will be several more days before the most isolated regions can be reconnected to the grid. Damage was quite significant to infrastructure, as a result repairs are taking longer than expected. The Canadian Armed Forces have sent in 200 personal from CFB Gagetown to help clear streets and distribute food and water. Hydro Quebec has 25 crews in New Brunswick to help with the restoration process. The outage is now the longest and most significant in New Brunswick Power history, surpassing that of Tropical Storm Arthur in July 2014. Two fatalities and dozens of injuries have been reported from carbon monoxide poisoning. Temperatures have been cold, making it difficult and dangerous for residents without heat.

New Brunswick Power Photos
January 2017 - top 5 warmest for Montreal
Meanwhile the weather in southern Quebec has turned noticeably colder this week, including an overnight low of minus 20C (-4F) on Tuesday morning. A weak clipper system will move across New England tonight giving Montreal less than 5cm of snow. Temperatures will remain chilly into the upcoming weekend. As it stands, January 2017 will be among the top 5 warmest on record for Montreal. The average temperature for the month will settle in close to -4.4C, well above the 30 year average of -9.7C. We managed below normal snowfall for the month, 42.3cm, but above normal rainfall with 35.7mm. Winds were gusty all month, with a peak gust of 93km/h on January 11. Cloudy, dreary, windy and mild best describes the month, let's see what February has to offer.

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