Canadian Underwriter

Cleanup begins after wicked winds hit Ontario, Quebec; thousands without power

November 25, 2014   by THE CANADIAN PRESS

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TORONTO – Wind warnings have ended but the cleanup has just begun after extreme winds swept through southern Ontario and parts of Quebec overnight.

Strong winds downed trees and hydro lines, knocking out power to thousands of residents in both provinces.

At the height of the winds Monday night, Ontario’s Hydro One reported 400 outages affecting 87,000 customers.

Thousands of customers remained without power Tuesday, with the provincial utility expecting most to be back on line by the end of the day.

In Quebec, 53,600 Hydro-Quebec customers in various parts of the province were without power as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The hardest hit area was the Laurentides, north of Montreal, where more than 27,200 customers had no electricity.

Other regions affected were Lanaudiere, northeast of Montreal, and the Lower St. Lawrence, northeast of Quebec City. Outages in Montreal and nearby Laval have largely been repaired.

Toronto Hydro reported 4,000 customers without power early Tuesday, and said it hoped to have power restored to all of them by evening.

As wind gusts reached up to 100 kilometres per hour in some locations Monday night, Ontario Provincial Police reported numerous trees knocked down onto roadways.

In the Toronto area, a GO Transit train was held up by live wires on the tracks and a construction sign was blown onto a stretch of Highway 407 during rush hour.

Many local utilities also reported thousands of customers without power and traffic lights down.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Tuesday for parts of central Ontario from Grey-Bruce north to Algonquin, saying flurries off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay mean snow squalls are possible.

The agency says colder air is now moving in from the west, and up to 15 centimetres of snow could fall in areas that receive a snow squall or two.

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