Quebec storm: More than 339,000 customers without power

As a major storm swept through Quebec on Friday, more than a quarter of households were without power as flash freezes and wind warnings went into effect in some areas.

The number of Quebec households without power reached 349,000 by mid-afternoon. As of 5 p.m., more than 339,000 Hydro-Québec customers are currently in the dark, about 15,000 in Montreal.

The worst affected areas are Quebec City, Laurentian and Outois.

“Due to the weather forecast for today and tomorrow, the number of customers without power may increase,” Hydro-Québec said in a notice to customers.

“Our crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible.”

Environment Canada has issued a flash freeze warning for the Montreal region as Friday’s above-normal temperatures are now dropping rapidly, which could turn water and slush slick to ice on some roadways.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, sidewalks and parking lots can become icy and slippery. Sudden changes in weather conditions can make travel dangerous. Be prepared to adjust your driving to changing road conditions,” the weather agency warned.

A wind warning is also in effect as gusts are expected to reach 90 km/h in the area. Winds can be strong enough to toss loose objects around and snap tree branches.

Clocks and warnings in southern Quebec. (Laurie Graham/CTV News)

By noon, in Quebec City, wind gusts reached 100 km/h. Strong winds caused some residents in the region to lose their car shelters, commonly called tempos, prompting local police to urge people to secure the structures.

In many parts of Quebec, snow that started late Thursday night turned to rain by Friday morning. related to 8 cm of snow fell in Montreal By 10 a.m. Friday, when other parts of Quebec saw 30 cm, including the Laurentians, Lanaudières and Mauricie.

quite a few Schools in the Greater Montreal area have actively declared closures Thursday before the arrival of the storm, which had been tracked for days.

“We might see one of these storms every five or 10 years,” Environment Canada meteorologist Mitch Meredith told The Canadian Press. “I’ve only seen a few storms like this in the last 20 years.”

Montreal reached a high of 6°C, but cooler air will bring it down to -3°C before evening.

Temperatures are expected to drop later in the day on Friday. (Laurie Graham/CTV News)

Kruse is clearing the road

Quebec Ministry of Transportation spokeswoman Sarah Bensadoun told CTV News that drivers can expect crews to clear roads 24 to 48 hours after rain to prevent slippery conditions.

He said there was no access between Quebec City and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean until mid-morning due to road closures in the area.

“The number one recommendation would be to delay or cancel any form of travel as weather conditions change,” he added. “It’s not safe at all.”

As the sun sets and temperatures drop, Transport Quebec issues a tweet warning drivers to stay off icy roads.

“As temperatures drop below 0, the risk of icy roads forming is high. If you must travel, take extra precautions and keep your distance,” it read.

The snow warning for the Montreal area ended Friday morning, however Environment Canada watches and warnings are in effect for several regions spanning from Ontario to Atlantic Canada.

By late Thursday, WestJet proactively canceled flights to airports in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia Because of the storm

The cancellations apply to airports in Toronto, as well as Ottawa, London, Montreal and Waterloo.

Meanwhile, dozens of flights departing Montreal International Airport were delayed or canceled Friday morning.

Air Canada said Friday it had canceled “several flights” to Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, including all of its flights from Toronto’s Downtown Island Airport, citing storms, reduced airport capacity and operational constraints.

Drivers are urged to use caution as surfaces will be slick and difficult to navigate with the rain-snow mix.

Passengers look at flight status boards at Montreal-Trudeau Airport during a strong winter storm on Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. (CTV News)

— Rob Lurie of CTV News Montreal and files from The Canadian Press

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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