Tony Crocker wrote:I believe that was an ice storm in 1998, another of the delightful anomalies of eastern weather that I have never seen out here. I do not believe that wind alone can do that level of damage though.
Talking about the 1998 as a simply anomaly simply downplayed the impact and damage this cause. It was an exception event which hadn't been seen in over one generation if not more.
Ice storm where people living in the rural part of Ottawa didn't have any electricity in 21 days. Many parts of south of Montreal were out for the same amount of time. A few weeks after that ice storm, there was indeed a wind storm that affected the high peaks in the Greens. The article doesn't mentioned in term of ski areas, but I remember that the ice storm affected many trees in the Gap between WF and Lake Placid and higher up the ski area were affected as well as places like Sutton and most of MRG. I know the wind affect and aggravated the situation of the trees at the top of MRG.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Amer ... rm_of_1998
Many power lines broke and over 1,000 pylons collapsed in chain reactions under the weight of the ice, leaving more than 4 million people without electricity, most of them in southern Quebec, western New Brunswick and Eastern Ontario, some of them for an entire month. At least twenty-five people died in the areas affected by the ice, primarily from hypothermia, according to Environment Canada.
The loss of electrical power also greatly affected pig and cattle farmers, as they could no longer provide water or adequate ventilation to their barns full of livestock, leading to the death of many animals. Many barns also collapsed under the weight of the ice, killing the animals trapped inside.
Millions of trees were brought down by the weight of ice around the affected areas. As many trees were damaged or fell by the heavy ice, the maple syrup and orchard regions suffered heavy blows and massive losses in the storm; Quebec's maple sugar industry, the largest in the world, was devastated. As another example, 5,000 trees in Montreal's Mount Royal Park had to be cut, 80% (140,000) of the rest were damaged to different degrees and had to be trimmed, a large number severely. The mountain park looked more like a logging camp than a nature oasis for many weeks.
Critically, about 1,000 steel electrical pylons (said, in Quebec, to be the most solid in the world) and 35,000 wooden utility poles were crushed and crumpled by the weight of the ice, further damaging power supply and hampering the return of electricity. Teams were brought in from places such as Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, along with teams from the United States and the Canadian Forces, to help restore power to affected homes in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
Roughly 700,000 of Maine's 1.2 million residents were without electricity, the Maine National Guard was mobilized, and hundreds of utility crews from as far away as North Carolina arrived to help.
Three weeks after the end of the ice storm, there were still thousands of people without electricity. In Quebec alone, 150,000 persons were without electricity as of January 28. Estimates of material damages reached around $2 billion Canadian for Quebec alone. Overall estimates are around $4-6 billion US for all the areas affected. Damage to the power grid was so severe that major rebuilding, not repairing, of the electrical grid had to be undertaken.