Ice pellets propelled by high winds pelted eastern Ontario and western Quebec Friday morning.

About 10 to 15 centimetres of ice pellets and snow were expected to blow down into the Ottawa area on 40 km/h winds gusting to 60 km/h during the second day of March.

Gatineau French-language schools and Ottawa's Parsifal-Waldorf private school were closed and all Ottawa school boards cancelled their buses, although most Ottawa schools remained open. Some English-language school board buses were still running in the Pontiac region of western Quebec.

Ottawa police reported 38vehicle collisionson the city's roads Friday morning.Ontario Provincial Policesaid around200 crashesoccurred between the eastern edge of the province andPort Hope, including one involving three transport trucks between Newcastle and Port Hope that was expected to keep all but one eastbound lane of Highway 401 closed for most of the day.

Some flights were cancelled and others were delayed at Ottawa International Airport.

Trains were still running from Ottawa, but those heading to Toronto continued to transfer passengers to buses in Oshawa as a result of a train derailment Thursday. Via Rail did not expect the track just east of Toronto to be cleared until Friday afternoon.

Overnight, the fierce weather knocked out power to more than 1,000 customers in the Petawawa area and more than 700just east and south of Ottawa.At 11 a.m., 6,000 customers near Gananoque, Ont., were also without power after a tree fell ona main power line just outside the town.