Ice storm: the devastated La Fontaine park, the story of walkers
Passers-by are impressed by the fall of this tree from ten meters to the La Fontaine park.
Trees split in two or uprooted, huge branches on the sidewalk and damaged infrastructure: this is the sad sight at La Fontaine Park this Thursday after the ice storm. Many curious people stroll through the alleys of the park, despite the borough's recommendation not to go to the scene. Access is impossible to control.
From the first meters at the entrance to Parc La Fontaine, it becomes impossible to count the number of branches on the ground. Street furniture is also damaged. A bus shelter on Rachel Street came within a hair's breadth of disaster. Several benches sank into the ground under the weight of the frost. The ice even broke some furniture legs.
A tree about ten meters uprooted
In the middle of the park, a huge tree about ten meters arouses the curiosity of all walkers. Everyone stops to take a photograph. The tree came out of the ground. The weight of the frost completely uprooted it. “It's the most impressive in the park! It’s then that you realize the enormous weight that weighed on him,’ notes Louis, who was passing by on his way to the restaurant. The roots of the tree tore out part of the road, but no other property damage was caused by its fall.
Further on, branches fell on the park's hockey field Fountain. The branches rest on the net above the railing, but the track is not damaged.
By midday, most of the ice around the trees has melted. The danger no longer comes from falling branches, but from the blocks of ice that surrounded the trees. “It's not just drops of water but blocks of ice the size of my hand that are falling,” Astrid shows her friend Héloïse. “We are not going to stay here forever; It could be dangerous!”
“The priority is to clear-the-branches of the lanes »
Kathy walks her dog despite the borough's recommendations not to go to the parks. “It's so sad! I walk my dog here every day,” says this local resident. “The worst is over. The branches will no longer fall, everything is melting,” reassures Kathy, who still has electricity in her apartment.
“Here, we are good, we can move forward”. A few meters further on, a City team is busy cleaning up the park. Since Wednesday evening, municipal employees have been at the front. One of them, Yann, started his shift this morning at 6 a.m. “The priority is to clear the branches of the lanes so that emergency vehicles can circulate,” he explains.
Yann and his colleagues group the branches into several piles to evacuate them later. A task that is not always easy with the many citizens in the park. “It's madness they're walking around! But we have to do the best we can,” laments the municipal employee, who goes back to work as soon as his sentence is finished.
Surroundings of the park heavily damaged
At the exit of the park, the scene is just as impressive. Many buildings are without electricity and the roads are blocked. Rue Gauthier leads to Parc La Fontaine. It is residential and usually very quiet. This Thursday, the wood of the branches strews the wet bitumen of the road. A couple of seniors weave through the branches. “Not so simple”, laughs the old man.
The cars, like the trees, have almost all thawed, but some are crumbling under the branches. Raising their heads, passers-by realize that the houses are also affected. A balcony is saturated with branches. Its owner has climbed onto the roof with a chainsaw in an attempt to cut off a huge branch that threatens to come crashing down on his window.
Contacted by Metro, the Plateau-Mont-Royal town hall says it does not have a deadline to complete the clearance work. At the end of the day, a point will be made with the teams of the City to see the progress of the work.