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Destructive Storm Batters Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine

A massive wind storm has "isolated" les Îles-de-la-Madeleine from the mainland. Underwater fiberoptic and communication related cables had been compromised leaving most citizens unable to communicate/access via the internet. Electricity is out on much of the region and Hydro Québec states that the region sustained winds of more than 120 km/h for several hours. Approximately 2,000 customers are without power at this time. The damages are significant to the grid: about thirty poles are down and other structures are damaged. Additional teams have arrived on site and more are on their way.

High winds of up to 130 km/h and very rough seas contributed to two underwater cables being badly damaged. Islanders were able to call each other but could not contact those on the Mainland until last evening. Communications company teams have been dispatched to the region, and Canadian Forces military personnel are en route with additional repair related teams. Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine are a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with a land area of 205.53 square kilometres (79.36 sq mi). Though closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, the islands are part of the Canadian province of Quebec. There are eight major islands: Amherst, Grande Entrée, Grindstone, Grosse-Île, House Harbour, Pointe-Aux-Loups, Entry Island and Brion.

Until the 20th century, the islands were completely isolated during the winter, since the pack ice made the trip to the mainland impassable by boat.

The maritime climate enjoyed by Magdalen Islands is markedly different from that of the mainland.

The huge water masses that circle the archipelago temper the weather and create milder conditions in each season. On the islands, winter is mild, spring is cool, there are few heat waves in summer, and fall is typically warm. The Magdalen Islands have the least amount of annual frost in the Province of Québec. The warm breezes of summer persist well into September, and sometimes early October. However, in spite of this under the Köppen climate classification its climate is humid continental due to its winters averaging far below freezing by maritime standards.

The islands have many kilometres of white sand beaches, along with steadily eroding sandstone cliffs. They are a destination for bicycle camping, sea kayaking, windsurfing and kitesurfing. During the winter months, beginning in mid-February, eco-tourists visit to observe new-born and young harp seal pups on the pack ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence surrounding the islands

sources; Wikipedia/Hydro Quebec

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