Home » Boucherville » Exactly 25 Years and Three Months Ago…

Exactly 25 Years and Three Months Ago…

January 5, 1998, I was quite pregnant with my eldest (he would arrive March 31 – almost three weeks late).  And our world froze.  For some, there was no electricity for over three weeks.  For us, it ended up being over two weeks.

My sister Lisa chose to haul her three toddlers up to my mother’s, because, even though she had no electricity either, they were better equipped to handle things.  Plus, misery in company always goes a long way.

My sister Tracy was also pregnant with her eldest (arrived May 28) and, living next to the refineries, was only without power for less than 24 hours  so we were invited to stay with them, bringing our dog, Chakotay, along.  We had just bought a quarter cow and half a pig so there was meat galore… Iain and Nicolas definitely were not lacking in iron!  Sébastien told us that we were welcome to bunk with them any time if it meant eating like kings like that!  We ended up burying lots of it in the snow and ice and lost nothing.  My houseplants did not fare so well. Every last one of them froze to death.

Unfortunately, I did not venture out to take my own pictures of that crazy time.  There were no risks to take.  We ended up staying with my sister and her hubby for two weeks, in all.

Global News (click on the image for article on the comparison between the two ice storms)

Fast forward twenty-five years and three months to the day.

On Wednesday morning, April 5, 2023, I had a job interview at 11:00.  It had started raining just before I left – a freezing rain.  By the time I got out of the interview, around 11:30, this was the state of the cars in the parking lot.

After scraping off my windows (quite a sight, surely) while trying to hold my umbrella and finally deciding “screw that!” and shoving it in the car, I caught my breath, drove the five minutes home and was ever grateful for my garage because no way was I leaving my car out in that!

Before closing the garage door, I had to take this.  My goodness, not an hour of rain had created this!

Just before 1:00 pm, I stuck my camera through my back and front doors to capture these:

Around 4 pm, I heard “BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” and the lights went out.  Surely they were transformers blowing up left, right and centre.  Crap.   I was pulled back to the windows then, and again later, to get more shots.  It was so impressive to watch the ice accumulate.

The lights came back on five minutes later and I sighed in relief.  Made myself a lovely pasta supper and enjoyed my date night. Till 8 pm.  And that was it. Lights out.

I woke up to still no power and was grateful I had already filled up my wood bin so I got a good fire going.  Then I was grateful that I insisted I get myself a gas stove so was able to make myself coffee and breakfast.

I decided to go for a morning walk, to capture the results of this crazy weather phenomenon before it all melted away.  I was not disappointed.  The frozen branches, the unfortunate broken ones lying all over the place (nothing compared to the pictures I saw of Montreal), the fog.  It was all surreal.

As I was photographing the trees (it is SO hard to choose which ones to share) I heard a splash.  Darn!  I missed the landing of this lovely couple!

I just wish the day was not so grey.  Then again, if it had been sunny, I would have had nothing to photograph!  And this would not have popped quite in the same manner.

I was walking through one of my favourite parks to run through, on my way to my friend Linda’s to catch up, see if she was also without power and if she needed anything.  Her neighbour and neighbour’s neighbour suffered damages to their trees.

After chatting with Linda for a bit, and helping her bring in some wood, I left her to enjoy her book and returned home.

It’s crazy.  As I was returning home, through the same park, I was struck by the sounds.  Just so you know, this is NOT rain!

Of course, I did not dilly-dally under any branches during the filming; nor during my walk!  There were no chances to take!  As I turned towards home, the fog really came in.

Hard to believe that by my 3:00 pm run, there was not a single sign of the ice from that very morning. (And I was still without power.)

Was happy to go to my sister Tracy’s and brother-in-law’s for supper, along with my mother (hardly ran out of power) and my sister, Lisa (whose power had come back) and her hubby.  Just before returning home, we checked the Hydro-Quebec site and it showed that power had been restored in my home. Hallelujah!

Way to end this saga! (To this date, there are still people without power.  What in the blessed hell is up with that?)

I know I went a little overboard with the photo exposé and I thank you for sticking with me to the end!  I just had to share this with you all.  (And, this is just a small sample of the 200+ photos I took!)





120 thoughts on “Exactly 25 Years and Three Months Ago…

  1. You and your family have been through a lot of weather adventures. The trees suffer the worst in these big freezes, I think. Those pics of the evergreens with sheets of ice on them are something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ice can be so beautiful–and so deadly. I’m glad all ended well for you in both situations. Hopefully, for the trees, too.
    And it’s great you have a fireplace, wood, and gas–and kind of you to check up on others. 💙

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ice storms are incredibly beautiful and incredibly dangerous. We get some weird storms here in NY, but, my Canadian friend, you guys take the prize!

    Your photos are mesmerizing Dale, and I was saying “Oooo”, “Ahhh”, and “Holy crap!” from start to finish! Is that a bird I hear chirping in the video?

    You are a good soul to venture out and check if others were safe. So glad this storm wasn’t an exact repeat of 25 years ago ’cause you’d have to be “quite pregnant” again. 🥴

    Glad you and your family are safe and I hope that’s true with everyone else and that the power is back on for everyone.

    I’m glad you got to memorialize this storm through photos. This will be talked about for years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there, Ginger.
      Ice storms are truly beautiful. They can happen anywhere for sure. And we do not want a repeat of 1998.

      It was a beautiful walk and not cold at all (to me!) So glad my photos elicited such responses from you! And yes, you do hear the birds singing!

      It was surprisingly not slippery to walk in and that’s what friends do 🙂 Thank goodness it was not a repeat of 25 years ago!

      Yes. All is good. A friend of mine went 108 hours without! That was ridiculous.

      I am glad I got to as well. So glad you enjoyed my photos! Thank you so much.


  4. Thank you for sharing such incredible photos … I really love the one of the playground. Yes, the gray sky really made the red structures pop 🙂 I’m so glad you have power but equally glad you have the foresight to own a gas stove and to have filled your wood bin. Fingers crossed that this will be the last of the icy weather for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed my photos, Marie. Me too. I love the reflections on that one 🙂
      Oh yes. After 1998, there is no way I was not going to at the very least have a gas stove!! (The wood burning stove is something I had hoped for so was pretty glad this house had one.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic photos and who would even begin to think they were over the top! It made me think of when we lived in Germany and experienced an “ice event”. We had to take our daughter to a medical centre 10 miles away because she was desperately poorly and needed antibiotics. I drove there in safety. The doctor was marvellous and treated our daughter on the spot. We drove home and I could not stop the car, or steer it as the roads were sheet ice. It was continuing on its own path despite my having done everything to try to stop it. I ended up jumping out of the car and pulling it into the side of the road where the vegetation eventually parked it for me!! Not a journey to be repeated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peter! So glad you enjoyed them.
      And oh my goodness! While this ice storm was something else for the trees, it was surprisingly not too bad on the roads. I can not imagine the stress you went through for your daughter! Thank goodness all worked out well. Hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent photos. The video gives a good sense of the cold rain. Three weeks without power and pregnant? Whoa! That is hell freezing over. And here you are 25 years later with hell freezing over again. It’s 80 out here this afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are so many people in this country that have never experienced how harsh winter can get. And there are so many of us that have. And it can be so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For as long as I live I will bever forget that ice storm of 1998. You know, Montréal was 1 electricrid failure away from total evacuation?
    At the time, I lived on Berri St. near Jean Talon, I’m little Italy.

    Your photos make it look beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They do! I love the effects of the ice on the trees but damnation, the destruction is so sad. I didn’t want to take a chance because those fallen branches can be deadly. The crushed cars in Montreal were a sight. Yes, home in front of the fire was the place to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. On the plus side, ice storms provide a unique brand of beauty – but the downside is a list of many … including various forms of danger. In the big picture, you are safe and sound – but the fact that others are struggling is tough to take. Hopefully, they are resourceful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the plus side is that it makes for beautiful photos 🙂 The damage to various cars in Montreal was awful. As far as I know, there was less damage on my side of the shore but scary business. A friend was over 100 hours without. Awful.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a freak storm. At least it didn’t end in days and weeks without power. Seeing tree damage is always heart-breaking, esp. the older ones. Great pix and the video of it all melting was cool. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Gosh, I only lived in T for less than 2yrs but I remember being invited for supper at friends one eve. We travelled by bus then and had not yet a car. I went in a whirlwind of freezing rain and strong wind into a flower shop to get some costly blooms. The lady wrapped them in a multitude of different wrapping papers and I carefully held them close to my coat. By the time we entered a much delayed bus, they were already dead…. ;(
        Another incident that marked me was when we returned to Switzerland on an awful Good Friday. It snowed, on the roads was slush and one could hardly see out of the window. We changed driving under the roof of a gas station and it was ME who got to deal with the French/Swiss Jura. I couldn‘t brake and I drove for nearly 4hrs in 1str and 2nd gear as there was no chance in hell to stop anywhere. A trip of usually 7.5-8hrs took something like 11h and when the storm finally died down, my legs shook so much that I couldn‘t leave the car to change place again. …. Then when we tried to drive to my parents, all roads were blocked, trees were lying ‚n‘importe ou et comment‘ and the phone lines were down too.
        Another time we flew with a much delayed plane to Berlin where we had booked a rental car to drive another 200km. Or so we thought,. First of all, due to such a delay we arrived only hours after shutdown of the airport. We had to go and ‚take‘ our keys from the desk of the rental firm and we arrived towards 05am at the hotel. The meeting my husband had took place at yet another place at 8am. It was hardly worth getting undressed and the sleet, snow and wind undid us completely. We had both nightmares…


  11. Oh, wow…. the epitome of chill!!!!!! …expressed beautifully! [or should I say, chillingly?!!!!]
    The ice cocoons are incredible and that sound as branches drop their ice shells…
    Thank you for sharing both story, the past and ah those images!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ice on trees is pretty, sure– but the damage to the trees breaks my heart. I’ve seen some gorgeous trees destroyed by Mother Nature’s fickle ways. That being said, chilling out is nice too. Maybe I’m as fickle as Mother Nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is pretty but oh so hard on the trees. I was just reading that hundreds of trees were affected in my town. I don’t want to think of how many were in Montreal. My sister said it was apocalyptic.
      You and me, both. I like a mix of active and chilling 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hullo Dale! I read this earlier this morning and am now getting around to comment. Your ice day was quite the adventure and so glad you had such an excellent shot to finish! Mostly, thank goodness you had wood and a gas stove. Otherwise, would you have gone to a warming station?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hullo Janet!
      Lovely that you are here 🙂 My ice day(s) were quite. And I had to take advantage of the situation. Yes. After ’98, there is no way I would find myself in dire straights again. I would have mooched a bed at either of my sister’s or mother’s 😉 They were not long without power.


  14. Q

    1998 feels like another dimension at this point in time. It does not SEEM like it was twenty-five years ago and yet . . it feels like it all happened in another lifetime. And no, I don’t have to tell you all this because you know it all too well.

    But you’re here and fabulista and kicking it just the same as ever. So . . there’s that!

    And the gallery on top of everything else (which I snuck a peek at earlier before getting busy finishing up last minute stuff) . . which is just . . . JUST!

    Until my return!

    Maybe I’ll . . uh . . stop by for a drink eh? 😉



    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Wordless Wednesday – Be Sorry . . . Less

    • Yeah! That ’98 storm was something and this one was not to be dismissed. Some people went without power for over 5 days.
      So sorry it’s so dry for you!
      84ºF in April is ridiculous. I’m all excited that tomorrow we are expecting 77!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I don’t think you went at all overboard. Halfway through reading, I got my sweater. Listening to the video, my fingers felt cold. You definitely got your message across to me, Dale. Well done.

    And I shall refrain from complaining about the weather, plants freezing, and loss of electrical power. May your weather be wonderful for weeks to come. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh boy! What an adventure! No power always sounds scary since we all depend so much on it nowadays. Great pics, Dale! And definitely not too many! (This comes from a girl who tends to take pics of every single Madame Tussaud statue wherever she visits one, every detail at the museums she’s visiting and printing those pictures for her photo albums 🤣). Hope spring will come soon and we will be able to accompany you to spring walks with blooming plants and lots of squirrels. Lovely buggers 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It was cold that day here, too, but not an ice storm.
    Crazy, but it was 27 yesterday and 25 today.
    Monday back to normal… if there is a normal anymore.
    Glad everything is okay! ⚡️💥

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow! I could say wow a thousand times over and still not express it. Wow. I did know of the previous ice-storm (you had told me) and I knew of this one too. But to see how it was… and here’s lucky me living in the mild eastern region of the mild British Isles and complaining when the winds blow cold!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mother Nature at her best … or worse? Depends on the perspective. From the camera lens, She is AWESOME. I’m happy to read about it from my warm office with my gas fireplace on and stew on the stove. Seriously, Dale, wow. April SHOWERS? How about April ICE brings on May flowers. Hopefully. If they haven’t frozen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Pam. Camera-lens-wise, she was awesome! I love the effects of the ice on everything (but not the damage it causes – that was disconcerting). I did go home to my gas fireplace and a warm coffee 😉 And get this, last week, we went from the 80s to the 30s in a couple days. Boom! April in Montreal… oy! I have seen a lot of crocus and daffodils in my ‘hood. The magnolia flowers are not open yet but we can see them – so late compared to so many other areas!


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