West Quebec resident upset by response to power outage

A woman in west Quebec wants to know why it took nearly three days to restore power at her home in Mont-Sainte-Marie, a day after a nearby ski hill's power was restored.

The power to Judy Cane's vacation home went out Friday night while heavy snow blanketed the region, knocking down trees and power lines.

At its height, the blackout left more than 110,000 Hydro Quebec customers without power.

By 3 p.m. Monday, nearly 17,000 customers were still in the dark.

Cane's power came back on Monday at about 1 p.m.

But she said she was upset that the local ski hill got its power back on Sunday while 20 nearby homes did not. Hydro crews were in the area, Cane said, but their power remained off.

She said she called Hydro Quebec Monday morning to find out what was going on, and that a woman who answered the phone hung up on her.

"You think they would have learned something after 1998, the ice storm, how to efficiently run crews," Cane said. "This is not efficient."

A generator at Cane's home gave them a choice between lights, the electric frying pan or access to the Internet.

"We're one of the lucky ones," she said. "But there are people around who have nothing, who are all on electric heat. And it's so frustrating. It's so frustrating."

A Hydro Quebec spokeswoman said the company is regularly updating its French-language website, but not the English site. She also said Hydro Quebec prefers that people call them for information.

The spokeswoman said she couldn't comment on Cane's complaints about being hung up on.

"It's all about communication," Cane said. "And we are such a social media world that to have nothing on Twitter, to have nothing on Facebook, to have nothing on their own website, is really in this day and age, it's just insane."

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