Thousands without power after storm hits parts of Eastern Canada
Published Thursday, February 25, 2016 2:00AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 25, 2016 4:44PM EST
Tens of thousands of people remain without power in parts of Quebec, eastern Ontario and southern New Brunswick, as crews race to restore outages that occurred after a messy mix of rain, snow and strong winds across the region.
Hydro-Quebec reported that 137,000 customers were without power in several regions across Quebec as of Thursday afternoon. The utility said it has sent out 350 crews to “restore service as quickly as possible.”
Hydro-One, which services most of rural Ontario, said Thursday afternoon that it was working to restore power to 13,500 customers in Ontario, while parts of southern New Brunswick had approximately 2,200 customers without electricity, down from about 12,000. Most of the power outages in New Brunswick were in the Fredericton and Chipman areas.
The bulk of the blackouts were in southwest Quebec, including nearly 61,000 in the Laurentians, a region north of Montreal. In Quebec City, the messy weather forced many schools to shut down for the day, including at least one junior college. And in Montreal, the rain and patches of ice made for slippery walking conditions.
Hydro-Quebec said power would be restored for most affected customers by Thursday evening, but warned that some Quebecers may not have electricity until Saturday.
Restoration times for those experiencing blackouts in rural Ontario range from midday to 10 p.m. Thursday.
Freezing rain brought down trees and branches across Quebec starting on Wednesday, resulting in the late-evening and early-morning outages.
The rain is expected to be lighter in parts of Quebec on Thursday, but it could turn to snow in the evening as colder air moves in.
Periods of rain in Fredericton are expected to end late Thursday afternoon.
Forecasters were predicting ice pellets and snowfall of 10-35 centimetres across the Great Lakes region by Thursday afternoon.
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV Barrie