November 1, 2019 - Almost 1 Million Without Power in Quebec

The number of outages in the wake of this event was the highest since the 1998 Ice Storm.

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Fall weather can be blustery, but the storm that slammed southern Quebec on November 1st, 2019, will be spoken of for years to come.

Wind gusts of up to 100 km/h — equivalent to a higher-end tropical storm — roared through the province, snapping branches and trees. The debris fell on power lines, triggering widespread power outages, with almost a million Hydro Quebec customers in the dark at the storm's height, the most since the January 1998 Ice Storm.

Though it did not take weeks to restore power, as was the case in 1998, power was still out for several days in some areas, prompting some municipalities to open warming centres for disconnected residents.

Downed trees Hydro Quebec

Image credit: Hydro Quebec.

Extensive property damage was reported as well, some of it quite dramatic. In Montreal, the howling winds ripped the façade off a house in Montreal's Ville-Saint-Pierre neighbourhood, and destroyed a gas station in Saint-Hyacinthe.

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The storm also brought drenching rains, with some 53 mm reported in Montreal and 80-100 mm in parts of the Eastern Townships. Not only did the waterlogged ground make it easier for the winds to down trees, the rains triggered flooding in several communities, resulting in dozens of evacuations.

One person was killed in this storm: A 63-year-old man in Bromont, on the south shore of Montreal, who died when a tree fell on him. Another man was badly injured when part of a brick wall collapsed on him in the Montreal neighbourhood of Parc-Extension.

On today's podcast, Chris Mei talks about the weather factors that culminated in this damaging windstorm, and takes a closer look at the damage and disruption caused by the winds and downpours.

"This Day In Weather History” is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.