|In early January 1998, three consecutive ice-storms devastated eastern Canada. Trees and power lines were knocked down, streets and sidewalks were coated with ice, and hundreds of thousands of Canadians found themselves facing the winter chill without power. On January 8, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick declared a state of emergency and requested the aid of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Many CAF members were on Christmas leave when they were recalled to support their fellow Canadians. CAF personnel quickly assembled across Canada and prepared to support their neighbours. When they were deployed to eastern Canada, service members were viewed as welcome support as many communities required a great deal of assistance with many not having power for several days.
The soldiers quickly got to work clearing roads for emergency vehicles, restoring telephone communication, removing debris, delivering badly needed supplies, assisting the local police, and visiting homes to identify at-risk individuals. Two soldiers even helped a dairy farmer milk his cows!
Over 14,000 Canadian troops participated in Operation RECUPERATION, making it the largest peacetime military deployment in Canada’s history.
Segments from Valour Canada
Left photo: A convoy from CFB Petawawa arrives in Ottawa to provide assistance during the state of emergency, January 9, 1998. (Credit: Sgt Marsha St-Dennis, DGPA/J5PA from the Canadian Armed Forces Imagery Gallery/ISC98-002-13)
Right photo: Canadian Armed Forces Twitter Account