Recovery operations in the frozen rubble of the Résidence du Havre seniors’ home in L’Isle-Verte came to a temporary halt on Sunday due to high winds and blowing snow in the area.
Quebec’s provincial police announced that they were suspending the search around 8 a.m. ET due to the difficult weather conditions, including a wind chill that feels like –30 C.
The halt, however, will not interrupt the running of de-icing equipment brought in to thaw the thick ice that now coats the ruins. That equipment, normally used to de-ice ships, was running Sunday morning under tarps covering the search site and additional equipment is said to be on the way.
Despite the poor weather, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is scheduled to visit L’Isle-Verte today and at 11 a.m. she is expected to make a public statement about Thursday's fire, which left at least 10 dead and another 22 missing.
Two of the victims were formally identified yesterday by the office of Quebec's coroner. They are Juliette Saindon, 95, and Marie-Lauréat Dubé, 82.
The identity of a third victim has also been confirmed and could be made public later today.
Families and friends of the victims will gather at the town’s gothic St-Jean Baptiste de L’Isle-Verte cathedral for a private mass at 2 p.m. Father Gilles Frigon, the church’s pastor, called the intimate service a first step in the long road to healing hearts broken by the tragedy.
Frigon also announced a public memorial service for next Saturday, Feb. 1.