From the morning of February 25, 1961 until the next day sheets of rain pounded the Montreal area, at the same time cold air hugged the lowest several thousand feet of the atmosphere, and the result was one of the worst ice storms in history to strike North America. With temperatures in the 20s and winds gusting between 50 and 70mph through the day the rain was pushed into every nook and cranky of the city and suburbs, causing ice to form everywhere that got wet. Ice accumulated as much as 2 ½ inches thick on wires. Power and communication lines snapped and, in many areas, it took more than a week to restore power. Many homes had no heat for more than a week. Water lines were impacted as well and many suburban areas were unable to get water because of the lack of power and because of lack of heat pipes burst – just as they did in Texas last year. Government authorities set up shelters in area schools to house thousands of people who had no heat, no water and no communication.
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