Hydro-Québec crews are restoring power to thousands of people who have been in the dark since early this morning after strong winds have knocked out power across Quebec.

Spokeswoman Marie-Élaine Deveault said the winds snapped trees and branches, downing power lines. 

At its peak, the storm left 23,000 Hydro-Québec customers without power. 

By 1 p.m., 8,000 were still without hydro.

Deveault said crews would do their best to restore power by this evening. 

“They’ll stay there as long as they have to,” she said. 

The Laurentians were the hardest hit, with 1,000 still without electricity early this afternoon.

In the Montreal area, where winds gusted up to about 80 kilometres an hour, more than 1,000 customers are still in the dark.

The winds also forced authorities to close the reserved bus lane on the Champlain Bridge, which was supposed to help commuters avoid delays caused by the latest bridge repair.