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Originally posted by Indy
Was that the year parts of Canada got hammered by a severe ice storm?
From January 5-10, 1998 the total water equivalent of precipitation, comprising mostly freezing rain and ice pellets and a bit of snow, exceeded 85 mm in Ottawa, 73 mm in Kingston, 108 in Cornwall and 100 mm in Montreal.
[that's 4 inches - of ice!]
The extent of the area affected by the ice was enormous.
How did the storm affect Canada:
-at least 25 deaths, many from hypothermia.
-about 900,000 households without power in Quebec; 100,000 in Ontario.
-about 100,000 people took refuge in shelters
-residents were urged to boil water for 24 to 48 hours.
-airlines and railway discouraged travel into the area
-14,000 troops (including 2,300 reservists) deployed to help with clean up, evacuation and security.
-millions of residents forced into mobile living, visiting family to shower and share a meal or moving in temporarily with a friend or into a shelter.
-prolonged freezing rain brought down millions of trees, 120,000 km of power lines and telephone cables, 130 major transmission towers each worth $100,000 and about 30,000 wooden utility poles costing $3000 each.
The damage in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec was so severe that major rebuilding, not repairing, of the electrical grid had to be undertaken. What it took human beings a half century to construct took nature a matter of hours to knock down. Environment Canada
Some of the 5.2 million people affected by the Great Ice Storm of 1998 went without power for five weeks. The storm struck a 600-mile-long swath of terrain that covered parts of four Canadian provinces and four US states, in many areas doubling or tripling records for freezing rainfall. It was the most destructive recorded weather event in Canada's history, and produced the highest insurance loss of any Canadian disaster. It generated 840,000 claims, the most of any episode in the annals of insurance, and 20 percent more than Hurricane Andrew, the costliest natural disaster in US history. In Canada alone, roughly 2.6 million people - a fifth of the national labor force - were prevented from getting to work for several days. About 100,000 people took refuge in shelters. The official death toll was 45 - 28 fatalities in Canada, 17 in the US - but those numbers understate the ice storm's effects.
...the storm's biggest impact was, in a sense, not weather-related: It was the loss of electricity, which continued long after the storm passed. Ice accumulations caused the collapse of more than a thousand 260-feet-high transmission towers, each weighing 20 to 50 tons, and at least 35,000 wooden utility poles in Canada. More than 7,500 transformers stopped working, often blowing out with dazzling orange-and-yellow flashes or bursts of flame. Montreal's water supply, reliant on electricity for filtration, came close to running dry. ... the roads were impassable. Some parts of Montérégie, a region of 1.3 million people southeast of Montreal, went without power for so long that the area became known as "the Dark Triangle." link