Flying tempos are wreaking havoc in Quebec City, firefighters say

According to Environment Canada, winds reached highs of 50 km/h Tuesday, uprooting some of the structures. (Radio-Canada - image credit)
According to Environment Canada, winds reached highs of 50 km/h Tuesday, uprooting some of the structures. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's … a tempo?

This year, Quebec City firefighters are asking citizens to make sure their temporary car shelters — known by their popular moniker "tempo" — are secure, after a string of flying tempo incidents across the city.

Bill Noonan, a spokesperson for the Quebec City fire department, said they have been called to apprehend 48 errant tempos in the last 48 hours. He said they have blown onto homes, cars and electrical lines — leading to power outages as crews worked to undo the damage.

Luckily, no one has been hurt so far, Noonan said, though he stressed the situation could be dangerous.

"Citizens could be injured by the moving structures, by the wind — and this could also cause car accidents because some of these structures, we had to take them off from the streets," he said.

According to Environment Canada, winds reached speeds of 50 km/h Tuesday. Winds like those have uprooted many of the metal frames, and Noonan said most tempos are not properly secured.

"Some people only use the concrete blocks, and using only concrete blocks is really not strong enough. A little bit of wind will get the structure to move," he said.

"People really, really need to use the permanent anchorages in the soil."

Owners are also being asked to wait until the ground is frozen before attaching the cover, he said.

Noonan said that firefighters have to deal with a few tempo calls every year, but this is an unusual amount in such a short period of time.

In Montreal, an Urgences-santé spokesperson said they haven't responded to any tempo calls in recent days, but they are asking residents, as always, to ensure their structures are secure.

Montreal police said they are ready to respond to any tempo-related trouble, as needed.