Ice storm: Montreal freezes under snow, causing significant property damage

Half the city is without power, all schools are closed, streets are downed with trees: A blizzard caused significant property damage in Montreal on Thursday, the day after it swept through eastern Canada.

Montreal was destroyed“But the situation”under control“, Quebec Minister of Economy and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, assessed during a press conference on Thursday, when warnings of freezing rain were lifted.

However, officials called for caution, especially in wooded areas and advised people to avoid getting close to trees and downed wires.

A man in his sixties was crushed to death on Thursday morning by the weight of a branch he was trying to cut in his garden, about sixty kilometers west of the French-speaking metropolis.

In the country as a whole, more than a million homes were still without power as of Thursday afternoon, most of them in Quebec, but some lines had been restored. These outages were mainly due to fallen trees and damaged power lines under the weight of the ice.

Traffic lights, bicycles, cars, plants… In Montreal, everything has been covered in ice since Wednesday evening. Initial reports suggest that 3 to 4 cm of snow fell on the city within a few hours.

This is the worst blizzard we’ve had in 20 years“, says AFP Jean-Marc Grondin. The 64-year-old retiree, who lives in the city’s central district of Plateau, went out on Wednesday to see an electricity transformer that caught fire when a tree fell on it.

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