More than 300,000 Hydro clients without power as freezing rain hammers parts of Quebec
Worst hit regions are Laval, Laurentians and Lanaudière regions
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.
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.