Ontario woman killed by downed tree as high winds rip through Eastern Canada

High winds were wreaking havoc in Quebec, Ontario and other parts of Eastern Canada Friday, knocking out power to thousands of homes and contributing to the death of an Ontario woman, who was killed when a tree fell on her vehicle.

Power out in parts of Ontario, Quebec, N.B., Nova Scotia

A tree toppled by high winds in the Manor Park district of Ottawa. Strong winds caused damage and knocked out power in parts of Ontario, Quebec and other eastern provinces Friday. A woman in Port Colborne, Ont., died after a tree fell on her car as she was driving by. (Sarah and Michael McCabe)

High winds were wreaking havoc in Quebec, Ontario and other parts of Eastern Canada Friday, knocking out power to thousands of homes and contributing to the death of an Ontario woman, who was killed when a tree fell on her vehicle.

Environment Canada's weather office was reporting wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour. In Quebec, nearly 200,000 Hydro-Québec customers were without power as of 2 p.m., including about 75,000 in Montreal. 

Power was also out in parts of Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In Ottawa, more than 1,100 Hydro Ottawa customers were without power as of 3 p.m., mainly in the west end of the city. And thousands of customers of Hydro One across southern Ontario were also without power. NB Power in New Brunswick reported nearly 5,000 people without power.

A tree knocked down by high winds in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough in Montreal, where about 91,000 Hydro-Québec customers lost power Friday. (Elias Abboud/CBC)

The high winds felled trees and power lines throughout the region, but in one case, it proved fatal. A resident of Port Colborne, near Niagara Falls, died of injuries sustained when a tree was knocked down by the winds and fell on her car as she was driving by.

Local media reported that the woman was 56 years old and that the collision reconstruction unit of the Niagara Regional Police was investigating the incident. Power was out in the area at the time, the Hamilton Spectator reported.

Windy conditions to cause high waves

Environment Canada reported that in the wake of a low pressure system, strong and gusty winds tracked through northeastern Ontario and moved over northern Quebec.

"For areas near the shores of eastern lakes Erie and Ontario, southwest winds of 60 km/h with gusts up to 90 km/h are still expected until late this afternoon," it said around 3:30 p.m. ET in its wind warning for southern Ontario.

In Quebec, Environment Canada said winds surpassed 90 km/h and would continue over the entire St. Lawrence Valley Friday evening.

"Items that are not secured could be tossed around by the wind," it said in its wind alert for Quebec. "These poor weather conditions will continue through Saturday over easternmost areas."

The strong southwesterly winds were expected to generate significant waves that would affect the north shore and the lower north shore of the St. Lawrence River.

"Consequently, there is a risk of breaking sea conditions near high tide," the agency said. 

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