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Freezing rain warnings continue across southern Quebec

Freezing rain is making for slippery conditions around Quebec and caused the temporary closure of Montreal’s Pierre Trudeau Elliott Airport and Highway 40 near Portneuf, west of Quebec City, on Saturday.

Slippery conditions force temporary closure of Montreal-Trudeau airport, Highway 40

Freezing rain caused trouble for travellers across Quebec on Saturday. More rain is expected overnight as temperatures climb up as high as 10 C. (Anne-Louise Despatie / CBC)

Freezing rain is making for slippery conditions around southern Quebec and caused the temporary closure of Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport and parts of Highway 40 on Saturday.

Environment Canada has issued continuing rainfall warnings for Quebec's far western regions and freezing rain warnings in the southern regions from Montreal to the Gaspé peninsula.

A warm front is due to bring temperatures up above zero in some regions. Temperatures of up to 8 C are expected overnight Saturday to Sunday and rainfall could be as high as 30 millimetres.

Environment Canada warned the rain could result in flooding along some riverbanks that are already running high.

Radio-Canada reports that water levels along sections of ​Rivière des Prairies, Rivière des Mille îles and the South Shore of the St. Lawrence are under watch, as well as parts of the Richelieu Valley, Eastern Townships and Central Quebec.

Fog to affect visibility 

Patches of fog are also expected to affect several regions in the south, strongly reducing visibility. The fog is expected to dissipate by Sunday morning.

An early morning bout of freezing rain Saturday brought operations at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport briefly to a halt, forcing delays across the board.

Operations at the airport resumed around 10 a.m., and, according to the airport, conditions are gradually returning to normal.

Freezing rain was also to blame for a multi-car collision on Highway 40 near Portneuf that left one person injured and saw the road closed temporarily.

The collision involved eight vehicles in a chain-reaction set off by a car rear-ending a provincial police cruiser that had pulled over to the side of the highway.

Stéphane Boivin, a spokesman for Transports Québec, said the temperature was making salt less effective on the roads.

“The salt is not working 100 per cent. Later on in the day when the temperatures will increase the salt will work much better,” he said.

In Montreal, conditions are making it impossible to provide wheelchair adapted service on the city’s buses.

In Sherbrooke, Que., buses are sticking to main roads only.

Quebec City's regional transit authority also warned passengers to expect delays.

Environment Canada is asking drivers to be cautious and to delay their travel if possible.

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