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The authorities were preparing for the worst, and this seems to have paid off this time : the storm of the year has not caused the catastrophe so much dreaded in the region of Montréal, on the contrary.
Even though close to 40 cm of snow fell in a few hours, the calls of the authorities asking people to stay home as much as possible and the decision to close several schools the day before have made it so that the chaos on road normal has not occurred.
Moreover, the road assessment not reported minor incidents in the metropolitan area. Only tragedy reported : a man lost his life in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.
The authorities seem to have learned from the famous crisis of march 14, 2017, which left 300 stranded motorists on highway 13 near the entire night : as the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) that the ministry of Transport (MTQ) has deployed additional staff.
Two years ago, the lined had started in the afternoon, and then the situation was rapidly exacerbated in the evening.
Even if trucks caught in the snow had blocked exits and calls of stranded motorists were on the rise, emergency measures had not been triggered.
A report was subsequently blamed severely the management of the MTQ and the SQ. The CAQ, then in opposition, had criticized the liberal government unceremoniously.
They have learned
Clearly, they have learned from their mistakes, according to Steve Flanagan, crisis management expert and former spokesman for Hydro-Quebec during the ice storm of 1998. He, too, had criticized the authorities in the aftermath of the storm of 2017.
Side snow removal, it is done without interruption on the expressways as early as 18 h, Tuesday evening, and the police were on the lookout for the care of the obstacles potential.
The roads seemed deserted Wednesday night, including in downtown Montreal. Buses and subway cars had nothing of morning and evening crowded that the city is accustomed to.
“This was not at all like a Wednesday as usual, but more like a Saturday morning,” remarks the chronicler, Pierre Olivier, Radio Circulation 730 AM.
“What happened [Wednesday], it must become the standard for the management of the winter storms,” says Mr. Flanagan.
“This is to be welcomed, it is expected that authorities. You don’t have to tolerate a level of effectiveness at the bottom of [it] “, says he.
Elsewhere, the storm of Wednesday was “comparable” to that of march 2017, according to Simon Legault, Environment Canada. The national weather service has done its job well too, the storm proved to be roughly consistent with what was expected.
The meteorologist noted that from 30 to 40 cm fell on the greater Montreal region, between 18 a.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, which is ” still a big fall of snow “. But the winds were less important.
8 days of snow removal
On Wednesday, some hospitals have had to reduce their activities to the operating theatres, due to the lack of employees. However, emergency rooms remain as crowded as usual.
“It seems that as we had seen it coming, the authorities were better prepared to cope with it,” said Alexandre Gravel, of Longueuil, interviewed by The Newspaper while he exuded his car buried under the snow.
In Montreal, snow removal, well started on Wednesday, could still take up to eight days and cost $ 40 million.
The 40 cm fell in a single night represent more than 20 % of all the snow received in average during a winter season.
– With Axel Marchand-Lamothe, Antoine Lacroix, Heloise Archambault and Sarah Daoust-Braun, QMI Agency
- Island of Montreal and Laval | 30 to 40 cm
- South shore | 30 to 35 cm
- North shore | 30 to 40 cm
- Low-and High-Laurentians | 30 to 35 cm
- Haute-Gatineau | 35 to 40 cm
- Vaudreuil-Soulanges | 30 to 40 cm
- Valley of the Richelieu | 30 to 40 cm
- Lanaudière and Mauricie | 25 to 30 cm
- Drummondville, Bois-Francs | 25 to 30 cm
- The eastern townships and Beauce | 20 to 30 cm
- Region Quebec city | 25 to 30 cm (partial data)
- Charlevoix | 30-44 cm (partial data)
- Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean | 5 to 6 cm (partial data)
- Bas-Saint-Laurent | 15 to 20 cm (partial data)
Source : Environment Canada, confirmed quantities before they go to press