Ville de Gatineau
Recap of the April 5 freezing rain developments
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Ce communiqué a été publié le 11 avril 2023. L'information dans ce communiqué pourrait ne plus être à jour et certains liens pourraient ne plus être fonctionnels.

Ville de Gatineau
News release
Recap of the April 5 freezing rain developments

Gatineau, April 11, 2023. – Now that close to 99% of Hydro-Québec customers have had their power restored, Gatineau has prepared a summary of its interventions further to the April 5 freezing rain.

Municipal crews are still out pruning trees and clearing away the remaining branches from the public rights of way and municipal properties.


On April 5, Gatineau recorded close to 30 mm of freezing rain, hail and rain. The accumulated freezing rain on overhead wires caused several power outages throughout the territory, hitting close to one out of every two customers in Gatineau.
From the very first power outages and through the entire Easter long weekend, Gatineau opened several points of service where residents could charge their electronic appliances, fill their water containers and take a shower.
- Centre sportif de Gatineau (Gatineau sector);
- Maison du citoyen (Hull sector);
- Paul-Pelletier aquatic centre (Aylmer sector);
- Lucien-Houle aquatic centre (Buckingham sector);
- Bibliothèque Donalda-Charron (Hull sector);
- Bibliothèque Guy-Sanche (Gatineau sector);
- Bibliothèque Bernard-Lonergan (Buckingham sector); and
- Centre communautaire et culturel de Buckingham (Buckingham sector);
- A Salvation Army mobile canteen also went throughout the territory to meet needs as the situation progressed.
Gatineau estimates that close to 1,300 people dropped in at those points of service between April 5 and 10.
Public works staff were on the job making the roads safe, starting well before the start of the precipitations.
A system was set up to ensure rapid intervention in pruning and clearing branches and trees that had fallen on roads. Crews also restored traffic lights.
- A total of 376 request were registered by the 311 non-emergency call centre concerning trees and branches on public rights of way (for pruning or clearing);
- In addition, 230 requests were registered for authorization to cut down trees on private properties. Municipal staff are still processing those requests.
A forest engineer circulated throughout the territory checking on the damage caused to trees and to confirm the need for pruning.
Within close to 72 hours following the first power outages, 18 crews from the Service de sécurité incendie de Gatineau, in collaboration with Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais (SBO), were going door to door checking on residents in the main sectors that were still affected.
From that point, and until April 10, Gatineau was offering last-resort accommodations for people who could not stay in their homes or move in with friends or family. There were eight requests for accommodations, but the households in questions ended up getting their power back and were able to remain in their homes.
The 311 non-emergency call centre responded to more than 3,000 calls related to the events. In addition to requests about branches, the main ones concerned:
- traffic lights that were not working due to the power outage;
- the status of culture and recreation activities in the various facilities; and
- information about the service centres for people without power (showers, charging devices and drinking water).
An arrangement was reached with the STO to help affected residents reach the municipal points of service.
Gatineau also remained proactively and constantly in touch with the public throughout the event. Updates on progress are available on Gatineau's social media and its web page at

Branch clearing

Gatineau asks residents to be cautious when using the parks and recreational pathways due to falling branches. Municipal crews are still out cleaning up.
For residents who have branches on their properties:
- Small branches (less than 12 mm in diameter) can be placed in brown bins or in bins clearly marked with a “V”, or tied into bundles for the compostables collection.
- Medium-sized branches (12 mm to 10 cm in diameter) must be tied into bundles for the next collection of wood and metal items. Only bundles weighing no more than 25 kg and measuring no more than 1.5 m will be collected.
The next wood bulky items collections are scheduled for:
- west end: week of May 1 and week of June 12;
- east end: week of April 24, week of May 22 and week of June 19;
- the collection schedules are available at
For branches measuring more than 10 cm, tree trunks and tree stumps, residents are asked to take them to the boulevard de la Carrière or the Aéroparc ecocentres.


“Since last Wednesday, Gatineau crews have been working flat out to ensure residents' safety and well-being. We witnessed numerous instances of people extending a helping hand, and I am pleased to see that municipal crews made a difference for many of our residents. Although the freezing rain is behind us, Gatineau continues to be proactive and is monitoring water levels now that the spring freshet has officially started. I urge residents to check the municipal website for the latest updates,” stated Gatineau Mayor France Bélisle.


Associated links

Freezing rain of April 5, 2023

Flooding and spring freshet


Ecocentres and waste transfer centre

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Published by
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau
Marie-Hélène Rivard
Chef, relations publiques,
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau

À propos de Gatineau

Reconnue pour sa qualité de vie, Gatineau est une ville de 292 000 habitants. Elle est située sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, et s'étend à l'est et à l'ouest de la rivière Gatineau.

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