Windy weather leaves thousands without power in Quebec, some schools closed

By News Staff

The violent winds that blew into Quebec Wednesday evening, mixed with rain caused several thousand outages throughout the province.

Hydro-Québec reported there were some 250,000 plus customers without power at the height of the outages. By Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., some 169,000 customers remained off the grid. The number had gone down to 79,600 by 11:45 a.m. and to 20,000 by 6:30 p.m.

Montérégie had 9,200 customers without power still at that time and the Laurentians with 4,700.

According to Hydro-Québec, 470 teams were dispatched to the field to repair the affected installations, and about 1,000 workers, but gusts of up to 95 km/h made it impossible at times to work – the crown corporation said on social media.

School closures and REM issues

In addition, there are several school closures due to power outages including: Archipelago Elementary School, Cedarcrest Elementary School, Beaconsfield High School, Christmas Park Elementary School, Springdale Elementary School, Sunshine Academy, and more.

In Montreal around 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, breakdowns stopped three Réseau express métropolitain (REM) trains on the tracks, stranding passengers inside, particularly on the Samuel-De-Champlain bridge.

Passengers on the first train were able to get out quickly. Another train broke down in the Pointe-Saint-Charles district, near Bridge Street, where they were evacuated using the emergency staircases and were later picked up by buses.

As for the REM on the Samuel-de-Champlain bridge, some of the passengers reported on social media that they were stuck for almost two hours.

“We were trying to replenish the track to be able to remove the train itself with the passengers inside, but it was taking a little, so we sent another train to evacuate them,” explained Francis Labbé, spokesperson for CDPQ Infra and REM manager.

Thursday, temperatures are expected to stay below freezing at -12 degrees Celsius and -23 with the wind chill but there are no weather alerts. 

According to Environment Canada, the forecast will rise again on Friday, and starting Saturday, at least four days of spring-like weather is expected. 

-With files from La Presse Canadienne

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