Many remember January 6, 1998, the date that the entire province of Quebec was devastated by the most severe ice storm of its history.

Beaconsfield was the hardest hit of all of the West Island municipalities. While residents were without electricity, heating and sometimes even transportation, a strong sense of community solidarity took shape.

Without delay, City employees quickly came to the rescue and an emergency measures plan was put into place. The Recreation Centre became a shelter where more than 200 people took refuge and where over 350 meals were served daily. Volunteers, employees and police roamed the streets, knocking at each door to ensure that residents were safe and sound and to identify citizens’ needs. Even residents’ pets found shelter. They stayed in the basement of the Recreation Centre where their masters could take care of them while they themselves stayed at the “Hotel Beaconsfield”.

Twelve years later, nature has taken a gentler course, lives have returned to normal and the community remains united.

Written by A. Bourel
Translated by M. Janis

Source: Beaconsfield Reporter 1998