Montreal

More than 300,000 Hydro clients without power as freezing rain hammers parts of Quebec

Hydro-Québec says Monday's ice storm is to blame for widespread outages, with fallen trees taking down power lines. The worst hit regions are Laval, the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions.

Worst hit regions are Laval, Laurentians and Lanaudière regions

It may officially be spring but the weather isn't quite ready to co-operate. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Hydro-Québec says about 310,000 customers in the province were without power as of 9 p.m., Monday.

The worst hit areas are Laval, the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions.

Officials are blaming the ice storms in parts of the province, as freezing rain throughout the day has created ice build-up on the trees.

"The freezing rain makes [branches] heavier, and when the wind picks up, the wind swings the branches and they come in contact with the power lines," explained Hydro-Québec spokesperson ​Cendrix Bouchard.

​He said there are 50 teams on the ground in the Laurentians alone, all working to restore power as quickly as possible.

Hydro-Quebec employees are working around the clock to restore power, according to a spokesperson. (Radio-Canada)

It's a slow process, he added, because of the icy road conditions and the number of lines affected.

"It might be a few hours before we get everyone back on the grid," Bouchard said.

Freezing rain coated wide swaths of southern Quebec earlier in the day, creating slippery conditions for the morning commute and prompting the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board to close schools in the Lanaudière region.

The Patriotes school board also closed 13 off-island schools Monday.

There are snowfall warnings in effect for the Beauce, Mauricie and the Quebec City region.

In the Eastern Townships, there is a freezing rain and snowfall warning.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.