Montreal

Powerful storm takes down trees in Montreal, leaves thousands without power

A humid morning gave way to a stormy afternoon

August 29, 2018

A roof was ripped off a house in Montreal's St-Leonard borough. A thunderstorm brought strong winds through the city this afternoon. (Stéphane Grégoire/Radio-Canada)

A powerful thunderstorm brought down trees in Montreal and, at its peak, left around 100,000 customers in the city without power Wednesday afternoon.

Across Quebec, another 70,000 people lost electricity, mostly in the Montérégie.

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The storm blew a roof off a building in Saint-Leonard, and downed trees in the neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

Wind gusts as strong as 93 kilometres per hour were recorded at Trudeau International Airport.

Miguel Ortigoza, who lives in a third-storey apartment unit near Sherbrooke Street and Cavendish Boulevard, was on his way home from work when the storm hit.

He was shocked when he made it home and walked into his bedroom.

"All the windows were smashed. There was glass everywhere," Ortgoza said, adding this his $3,000 computer got damaged when the windows crashed in.

Wednesday's heavy rain and strong winds broke Miguel Ortigoza's apartment windows. (Submitted by Miguel Ortigoza)

Hydro teams deployed

Hydro-Québec spokesperson Serge Tsoto said more than 200 teams, made up more than 400 workers, were on the ground in Montreal to try to restore power to all the clients.

Their job was especially complicated in areas where strong winds damaged hydro poles and other infrastructure holding up the power lines, Tsoto told CBC News.

"We have to rebuild them and repair them as soon as possible. That's why we have deployed the majority of our teams on the ground right now," said Tsoto.

More workers are expected to come in to help.

A fallen tree blocks de l’Épée Avenue between Laurier and Fairmount avenues in Outremont after a thunderstorm swept through Montreal on Wednesday. (Submitted by Nadine Bismuth)

Urgences-Santé received five calls related to the storm in the Montreal area, though no serious injuries were reported.

A worker on a construction site in Rosemont was hit in the face by a two-by-four that was picked up by the wind.

A cyclist in Senneville, on the western edge of the island near Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, was hit by a falling branch, as were a man walking in Square St. Louis and a woman getting out of her car in the Town of Mount Royal.

A woman in Saint-Leonard also called 911 after a branch fell onto her car, trapping her inside the vehicle.

Strong wind knocked down trees in the Montreal area on Wednesday, including in Pointe-Claire at the corner of St-Louis and Parkdale avenues. (Submitted by Theo Wouters)

Environment Canada issued a heat warning and thunderstorm warning earlier in the day. 

Both warnings have since been lifted.

A high of 22 C is in the forecast for Thursday. 

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