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Wild winds leave many across the region in the dark

Winds gusting to over 100 km/h swept across the Valley on Saturday evening and remained strong through the night, leaving over 4,500 people in the Haut-Saint-Laurent without power by Sunday morning.

Firefighters from local departments were out clearing fallen branches from roadways and generally cleaning during the night and again come morning, as the storm downed wires, razed car tempos, and blew many unsecured items astray.
Hydro Quebec noted that over 400 workers were out repairing the damage on Sunday, warning that while the goal was to have power restored to as many clients as possible by the end of the day, there was a possibility some would remain in the dark for a second night.

 

Valley residents woke up Sunday morning to debris covered lawns, where anything not secured to the ground was carried away by the 100 km/h winds. PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

A number of restaurants in the area were able to open on Sunday to serve hot drinks and provide places to keep warm to those without electricity, including several in Ormstown, which was particularly hard-hit.

Diana Montuenga was among the Ormstown residents who woke up to a chilly and dark home. As the activities and events coordinator with the Ormstown Legion Branch 196, she packed up some soup and opened the doors of that location, offering free coffee, hot chocolate, and soup to anyone without electricity. “I started cooking at 11,” she says, noting over 20 people took advantage of the offer, with some staying for much of the day.

“We are a community-oriented Legion, and we wanted to give people a place to come,” she explains, noting that while she is relatively new to Ormstown, she has been particularly moved by the way people look out for one another.

As of press time, there were still 49 outages in the region, leaving 622 people in the Haut-Saint-Laurent without power, including 118 in Ormstown, as well as 112 in Hemmingford county, 45 in Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, and one individual in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka.

 

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