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Sunday, January 18, 1998 Published at 06:34 GMT


Ice storm agony continues
image: [ Residents have been helping in the clean-up operation ]
Residents have been helping in the clean-up operation

Nearly 750,000 people in eastern Canada are still without power after an ice storm almost two weeks ago.

Power supply managers say it could be at least another week before a full service is restored.

[ image: Powerlines were brought down]
Powerlines were brought down
Canadian soldiers are helping workers repair fallen pylons and install hundreds of kilometres of new cable.

The worst-affected area is Quebec, where more than 250,000 homes are still without electricity. Some 30,000 households in the province of Ontario also have no electricity.

The Quebec Government has bought 200 generators from US companies to help livestock breeders and dairy farmers keep going.

[ image: Streets in Montreal have been blocked by ice]
Streets in Montreal have been blocked by ice
At least 20 people have died since the ice storm struck on January 5. The weight of the ice toppled trees and power lines.

The president of power company Hydro Quebec has appealed for voluntary cutbacks on electrical usage and for low-priority buildings to be kept closed in order to avoid electrical surcharges that could hamper efforts to restore power.

Hospitals have been recalling retired workers to cope with cases of carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from the use of unventilated heating units.

At the peak of the storm, three million people were without power.


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