Beauty amongst the storm The ice storm of 2023, as destructive as it was, left many beautiful images in its way. The any people left without power and internet for multiple days, will be a moment in time that will not be forgotten. These trees that had been used to shelter animals for many years, are now nothing but a memory. See page 6 for more photos.  Vogel Photo

SD&G – It brought freezing rain, thunder, lightning, and fog, and while it didn’t last nearly as long, the significant weather event which blanketed portions of Eastern Ontario and Quebec with a coating of ice on April 5 brought back memories of the Ice Storm of 1998 for many residents.

Last Wednesday’s storm, which saw an accretion of between 10 and 15 mm of ice on branches and powerlines, resulted in more than 1 million customers being without power for prolonged periods of time.

In Eastern Ontario, Hydro One reported that they had restored power to more than 112,000 homes by midnight on April 5, adding that others in areas such as Vankleek Hill, Winchester and parts of South Stormont would be without power at least overnight. Within 24 hours they had restored power to 238,000 customers, while 93,000 remained in the dark. That number was further reduced to 46,000 by April 7, thanks to the assistance of contractors and other local electricity distribution companies who were able to send equipment and technicians into the area.

In addition to the loss of power, many mature trees suffered substantial damage with the added weight of the coating of ice causing branches and entire trees to snap or become uprooted. This resulted in local fire departments being called-out to assist in clearing roadways and putting out small fires.

To provide support to residents without power, the lobby of the arena in Finch was opened as a warming centre. In Long Sault, the township of South Stormont posted on social media that the arena would be made available all-day Friday for warming, charging phones, electronic devices and for showers.

Sadly, one death was attributed to the storm. A 59-year-old man was struck by a falling branch on his property located northeast of St. Andrews West.

By noon on April 10, only 216 customers across all Eastern Ontario remained without power, and efforts were continuing to see them restored. While in most cases roadways had been cleared of fallen trees and branches, it will be some time before all the debris is removed.