The January 1998 Ice Storm Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Diary of a Disaster

click on icestorm image to return to this page

En Francais

Beginning Monday January 5 th 1998, a huge ice storm raged across a large area of North America - it lasted for almost a week. Power line towers fell, trees fell on local lines, and eventually people fled their cold houses to improvised shelters... it seemed civilization is falling apart. Presently, Friday January 16 th, 1998, I have a 100 foot extension cord running to my neighbor's house which I can either use to power my furnace pump or my portable computer. I am sitting in the basement in the darkness, except for the glow of my computer screen and pilot light, next to my furnace, with my laptop on my knees. I am starting to feel the cold creeping into my house, and feet, so I will try to be brief. So begins the story.... 11 days without power, and months of cleaning up fallen trees in the country that changed me.

10 years later Montreal is not ready for another ice storm: Water supply still not assured

"But there's still no secure independent source of power for the city's two main water filtration facilities, Atwater and Desbaillets.

Rolls-Royce, with the help of the provincial government, built a 50-megawatt electricity generator designed to supply electricity to the filtration plants. But that generator is still not independently capable of powering the two plants.

The city insists the situation will be corrected as soon as underground electrical cables are laid - in 2010. This isn't good enough. It is a shock the most serious of the problems that came to light in the ice storm is still not completely corrected."

From The Montreal Gazette  Saturday, January 5. 2008

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Last updated December 21, 2008




Fast Facts


The Storm

The Shelter

The Aftermath

Concept of Coldness

Lessons to be learned

Mount Royal Park

Maps of storm

Aftermath of storm

More Diary Entrees

Email and Letters

Post Script 2002

Large Images of Ice storm

Image Gallery including QTVR


Official report on storm

Digital Image Gallery One

More images of the Storm

Quicktime VR images of storm

Panorama of Montreal in winter

NOAA satellite video of storm

Poems on the Storm

Letters from the Web


U of Illinois site with advice on trees

U of Illinois site on ice rain phenomena

USAtoday ice storm coverage

Environment Canada web page

NOAA 1998 storm with satellite images