Passover Seder
Passover SederNati Shohat/Flash 90

A severe ice storm on Wednesday that led to two deaths and left over 800,000 Hydro-Québec customers without power for days made it a challenge for Montreal’s Jewish community to celebrate Passover.

The storm hit the city as its Jewish community was getting ready for the first seder, busy cooking, making last minute preparations and organizing to have guests over. Suddenly, the power went out for many Jews. And it stayed out for days.

“We kind of left the stove on to keep the heat on, but when we served dinner, we noticed that a lot of the things is not cooked. So we just took the top layer, and it was cooked, basically. So it was an interesting Passover,” Itsik Romano told CityNews.

Many seders had to be canceled or moved to other locations.

Jewish Montrealer Katherine Korakakis described the situation at her brothers’ house to the news outlet: “Because there was no electricity to pump the pumps out, the water stopped working, so the entire house flooded and there’s no electricity. So we were supposed to go there tonight. So now scrambling, trying to find another place. We found something, but, you know, just piecemealing stuff together.”

She added that many in the community used camping gear and propane stoves to warm up food or traveled to a friend or relative’s house that still had power.

“People just eating really just cold food that I heard a lot about. Candle lit, you know, just eating with with cold food, with candles. I’ve seen pictures of people with flashlights eating all kinds of funny things like this. And then of course, people just saying, well, you know what? We’ll have our matzah. Because really the obligation is to have the matzah and that’s the the obligation to eat a certain amount of matzah,” she said.

Power has now been restored to most of the nearly one million Quebecers who lost electricity last week, CBC News reported. But as of noon on Monday, 35,000 people were still without power.

Two death occurred after the storm hit. One person was killed by a falling tree branch while another died from inhaling fumes after using a generator inside their garage. Nearly 200 Montrealers were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning from from using outdoor appliances in their homes, according to news reports.