The Heat Is Online

Quebec Ice Storn -- Jan. 1998

"Quebec ice storms halts trains, flights" Reuters, Jan. 9, 1998

MONTREAL, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The worst ice storm in Quebec's history severely disrupted air and railway services on Thursday in the French-speaking province and neighboring Ontario, forcing the cancellation of flights and trains.

VIA Rail Canada said all passenger train services had been halted east of Toronto, including trains to Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Service was disrupted because of fallen power lines, trees blocking the tracks and frozen switching and signalling systems.

Diane Roch, spokeswoman for Aeroports de Montreal, said roughly half of the domestic and international flights at Montreal's Dorval airport were cancelled because of the accumulation of four days of intermittent freezing rain.

"It is the weather that is affecting the operations of the whole city," she said.

Canadian Airlines Corp , Northwest Airlines , US Air and Delta Air Lines cancelled all of their flights into and out of Dorval, but Air Canada continued to operate certain flights.

All cargo and charter flights were operating normally from Montreal's Mirabel airport.

Highway 417, the main four-lane expressway between Montreal and Ottawa was closed, as were a number of smaller highways in the region south and east of Montreal.

BCE Inc unit Bell Canada said about 26,000 customers in the Monteregie region south of Montreal and Outaouais area bordering Ottawa were without telephone service, but overall, the company's system in Quebec and Ontario was performing normally.

Most of the telephone service failures were directly related to the lack of electricity needed to run installed equipment.

Bell Canada had about 600 technicians working on restoring service. Bell Canada, Canada's largest telephone company, has about 8 million residential and business customers in Quebec and Ontario.


"Ice storm paralyses eastern Canada", Reuters News Service, Jan. 10, 1998

Canada's worst ice storm on record wreaked havoc across five eastern provinces, halting air travel, shutting down the nation's busiest rail corridor and forcing three million people to endure another day without power.

The death toll from the five-day onslaught rose to 10. The three latest victims were all from hard-hit Montreal - an elderly couple killed in one of many house fires and a 90-year-old woman who died of hypothermia after refusing to leave her unheated home.

Across eastern Canada, residents were finding ways to cope with the storm that upended routines.