Thousands blacked out by ice and rain storm in southern Ontario and Quebec
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 16, 2018 4:10AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 16, 2018 11:43AM EDT
More than 100,000 customers across southern and central Ontario remained without power Monday morning as the province's massive ice storm transitioned to drenching rain.
Provincial power utility Hydro One said its crews were working to reconnect more than 97,000 customers, while Toronto Hydro said the number of customers in the dark had shrunk to 10,000 from about 40,000.
In most cases the crews were dealing with power lines and poles downed by high winds or ice-coated trees that snapped during the storm.
The mix of snow, freezing rain, ice pellets, rain and powerful winds that battered the region Saturday and Sunday made driving treacherous, with provincial police reporting more than 1,450 non-fatal crashes on the highways surrounding Toronto over the two days.
Provincial police also said Highway 400 south of Barrie, Ont., remained closed in both directions after a collision involving two trucks took out the highway divider.
The poor conditions also prompted bus and school cancellations in parts of the province Monday, with schools in Hamilton, Halton and Peel regions closed for the day and buses cancelled in various other districts.
In Toronto, the CN Tower was closed due to the weather and police said a nearby pedestrian bridge was shut down due to chunks of ice falling from the tower.
After pummelling Ontario over the weekend, the storm slowly moved east toward Quebec.
By Monday, icy roads were creating slippery conditions in different parts of that province, with schools in the greater Montreal area and further afield closed due to the accumulation of freezing rain.
Hydro-Quebec reported early Monday that more than 33,000 of its clients were without electricity, the majority in the hard-hit Outaouais region in western Quebec and the Monteregie region southeast of Montreal.
The storm also played havoc with air traffic, with more than 600 flights cancelled at Toronto's Pearson International Airport over the weekend and many others delayed -- often for hours. Toronto's downtown Billy Bishop airport cancelled all departing flights on Sunday and received only one arrival all day.
- CTV Barrie - Bus cancellations and school closures
- CTV Ottawa - Bus cancellations and school closures
- CTV Kitchener - Closures and cancellations
- CTV London - School closures
- CTV Toronto - Bus cancellations and school closures
Air travellers were advised to check the status of their flights before heading out on Monday, with Pearson saying it expected to see higher than normal passenger volumes as those whose flights were cancelled began travelling out of Toronto.
Some universities and colleges cancelled exams due to the weather, and with heavy rain continuing overnight there were concerns about possible localized flooding. Residents were being urged to try to help mitigate the problem by clearing catch basins of snow and ice.
Due to extreme weather, the #CNTower is now closed. We will continue to monitor the weather and provide updates as necessary. / En raison d’une météo extrême, la #TourCN est fermée. Nous continuerons de surveiller la météo et vous donnerons des mises à jour dès que nous pouvons.— CN Tower/La Tour CN (@TourCNTower) April 16, 2018