Road trips, breakdowns, summer tires: Heavy snow wreaks havoc in southern Quebec

Road trips, breakdowns, summer tires: Heavy snow wreaks havoc in southern Quebec

The worst April snowstorm in 25 years sowed chaos in the province's south on Thursday, plunging hundreds of thousands of Quebecers into the dark and forcing many to travel.

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“Another branch fell on my car, it was a whole branch, it was as big as a tree trunk,” complained Martin Dion, who feared thousands of dollars in damage.

Martin Dion near his van that received a tree branch during a spring snowstorm in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montreal. This is the second time this has happened to him.


Almost a year ago to the day, his van had already been damaged by the first falling branch during a snowstorm on April 5, 2023.


During this time, he suffered from 25 to 30 centimeters of snow, which accumulated in different sections of the greater Montreal region.

It was one of the largest areas recorded in an April since 2000, when 37.7 centimeters fell. MétéoMédia meteorologist Régène Ouimet acknowledges that such abundance is not typical for this time of year.


“Snowfall is normal for us at this time of year, but we haven't had it in a long time, so it's confusing,” Environment Canada meteorologist Michael Fleury said. January.

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The network is affected

The Hydro-Québec network was not spared: About 600,000 customers were affected by the storm at the same time, according to a spokesman for the state-owned company Louis-Oliver Patty.

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The damage reached its peak on Thursday morning when 300,000 customers were simultaneously out of service.

As of 10:30 p.m., more than 67,000 homes were still in the dark, mainly in Monterrey, Laurentians and Outavoys.

City of Montreal workers cut fallen branches on Théodore Street in Hoselaga-Maisonneuve.


“A lot of tree branches fell on the network, power poles were damaged,” said Louis-Oliver Patty, adding that 1,200 workers were grounded.

As of noon Thursday, the city of Montreal had already received 677 claims related to branches that broke under the weight of heavy snow.

Dangers on the road

Apart from that, ice also caused difficulties for motorists.

“The March 15 deadline to get your summer tires on has been played by Spoysport. There are some who have taken advantage of the favorable temperatures of the last few days,” believes Patrick Benoit.

Martin Dion's van gets a tree branch during a spring snowstorm in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montreal, Thursday, April 4, 2024.


Traffic columnist at hello hello Counted more than a hundred exits from the road and lost control in the morning and three jackknifings across the greater Montreal area.

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Earlier in the day, there was a major collision on Route 235 near St-Sabine in Estry.

A driver in his thirties suffered very serious injuries when he lost control of his car on a small curve, according to the Sûreté du Québec.

An encouraging sign is that snow will begin to melt on Friday, with temperatures of 4°C expected and snow turning to rain, Michael Fleury said.

All should have melted by Monday, as the sun returns and temperatures are expected to top 10 degrees Celsius.

For this reason, the City of Montreal does not plan snow loading operations.

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