MRO Magazine

April ice storm cost Hydro Quebec $14 million due to damage, overtime


Industry

June 17, 2019
By The Canadian Press


Industries

MONTREAL – The ice storm that plunged hundreds of thousands of Hydro-Quebec customers into darkness in April cost the provincial utility about $14 million, according to data provided to The Canadian Press.

In comparison, Hydro-Quebec said previously that tornadoes that swept the Gatineau area in September prompted about $8.4 million in damage-related expenditures.

At the height of the outages, which occurred from April 8-12, some 316,000 residential customers in Montreal, Laval, the Laurentians and the Lanaudiere region lost power.

During peak periods, Hydro-Quebec had up to 1,000 employees in the field, alongside teams from Hydro-Sherbrooke and Vermont’s Green Mountain Power.

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Workers – mainly line labourers – put in nearly 45,500 hours of overtime at a cost of about $3.6 million.

Hydro-Quebec says it’s making efforts to limit overtime, but the Crown corporation will likely see its bill continue to rise in 2019.

Last year, it paid nearly $165 million in additional hours, owing in part to the Gatineau tornadoes and a winter storm in the Iles-de-la-Madeleine.