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Prime Minister Jean Cretien visits Ice Storm Headquarters with Osgoode Township Mayor Doug Thompson (1998).
Prime Minister Jean Cretien visits Ice Storm Headquarters with Osgoode Township Mayor Doug Thompson (1998).

The Ice Storm of 1998 - rural Ontario

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Weather disasters sometimes turn into misery contests: How bad was it? Who had it worse? In Canada, "the" Ice Storm was blamed for at least 25 deaths, close to a thousand injuries, and damages that hit $3 billion. Off and on, over six long days, a stalled front stretching from Eastern Ontario to Nova Scotia, coated everything in inches of ice. With transportation, communication and power disrupted, the basics of life quickly became critical issues for millions of Canadians. Help came from every sector. Canada ordered that nation's largest-ever domestic deployment. Nearly 16,000 military personal pitched in, while another army of repair crews from across North America showed up to tackle the immense job of restoring crippled utilities. Ten years later, people mostly remember how much communities pulled together. Farm-bred Doug Thompson taught English for 35 years before taking up a second career in municipal politics. Lucy Martin caught up with Thompson as he was looking back at photographs from 10 years ago.

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Reported by

Lucy Martin
Ottawa Correspondent

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