Cold wave | Pipe breaks cause trouble in Estrie hospitals

The cold snap that swept across Quebec continued to cause harm on Sunday. Several hospitals in Estrie, where temperatures reached -31°C on Saturday, are facing broken pipes and heating problems.

Updated February 5

At the Hôtel-Dieu in Sherbrooke, two broken sprinklers caused major water damage on Saturday. Drying and dehumidification work is still in progress and should continue over several days.

“Unfortunately, the water leaked in the emergency room,” said The Press Annie-Andrée Émond, spokesperson for the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS. A complete emergency sector had to be closed and another partially closed.

A site was opened on the fifth floor to receive patients who were present at the time of the water leak.

Since the work is slowing down the work of health professionals, the CIUSSS asks the population to use the services “judiciously” and to go to the emergency room for urgent situations only. Urgent situations will be handled with the same efficiency as usual, maintains the CIUSSS.

Dand many inconveniences

Water damage and some heating problems also occurred at the Fleurimont Hospital. On Sunday afternoon, however, the heating problems were resolved and the draining work underway.

Water damage also occurred in the cafeteria of the Youville Hospital and residential centre. Since the kitchen was not affected, the production of meals for the residents could be maintained.

The reorganization of services has also led to the postponement of medical appointments. “All those affected are or will be notified by telephone,” said Emond.

Major evacuation

In the Capitale-Nationale, a broken pipe also caused a problem on Saturday evening, leading to the evacuation of more than 300 homes. Around 8 p.m., Quebec City firefighters were called to a broken washer hose, causing significant water damage.

“While we were continuing our checks, we heard an explosion and then the power went out,” said spokesperson for the City of Quebec Fire Protection Service, Alexandre Lajoie.

The water that reached the electrical room in the basement deprived 300 homes of electricity. “There was smoke, so the firefighters asked for load shedding to be able to intervene safely in the building,” he said.

The Red Cross was called to the scene to take care of the evacuees who did not want to spend the night in the cold in their accommodation. Power was restored on Sunday.

Breakdowns and delays


Residents of the Villeray district, in Montreal, were without power for many hours on Saturday.

Although the extreme cold warnings were lifted by Environment Canada on Sunday in most regions of Quebec, the consequences of the cold wave were still being felt.

At the start of the afternoon, 8,500 customers across the province were without electricity, including 3,100 in Montreal, according to Hydro-Quebec’s report. The day before, 17,100 customers were plunged into darkness.

Extreme cold caused a slowdown in ground operations at the Montreal airport, which impacted flight schedules and baggage handling. On Sunday, many flights were still delayed.

In Quebec, extreme wind chill values ​​reached -42 in Gatineau, -43 in Montreal and -48 in Quebec and Sherbrooke in the last few days. Minimum temperature records recorded were also broken on Friday in several sectors, particularly in the Charlevoix massif with -36.1 ° C, or a feeling of -52. The last lowest temperature was -33.9°C in 1962.

With The Canadian Press