Trees down, tens of thousands lose power across Montreal as winds reach 100 km/h

The high winds that prompted Montreal's mayor to push back Halloween arrived a day late, bringing down trees and leaving tens of thousands of Hydro-Québec clients without power.

Environment Canada warns of possible flying objects and damage caused by fallen trees

CBC Montreal also won awards for our coverage of the November 2019 windstorm that left hundred of thousands of people without power. (Debbie Hynes/CBC)

Dozens of trees were pulled down and more than 100,000 homes and businesses were without power across Montreal, as the high winds originally forecast for Halloween arrived Friday instead. 

Howling winds gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour all but shut down Montreal's Trudeau airport, with most departures either delayed or cancelled. 

Still, Montreal has been spared the worst of the storm that's raged across southwestern Quebec. Municipalities in the Eastern Townships are evacuating homes along the Saint-François River that flooded under the heavy rain, and hundreds of thousands of Hydro-Québec clients are without power in the Montérégie and elsewhere in the province.

Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were without power in Quebec.

The howling winds aren't expected to let up until this evening in Montreal. An Environment Canada warning, issued warning early Friday morning, called for southwesterly winds of up to 100 km/h throughout the day.

"Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage," Environment Canada warned.

Just after 10 a.m., the sun did pop out in Montreal — perhaps giving those who put away their Halloween costumes cause for hope that they'll still be able to take to the streets Friday evening.

On Wednesday, Montreal joined several other Quebec municipalities in encouraging families to trick-or-treat Friday because of the spooky forecast.

Winds reaching 100 km/h knocked down trees in Montreal, sent garbage and compost bins flying. (Submitted by Daniel Beland)

The move spawned a hashtag — many people called it #Halloweengate on social media. There's little agreement over whether it was best to postpone trick-or-treating or to leave Halloween on its official date, Oct. 31. 

Mayor Valérie Plante even tweeted, "Damn[ed] if you do, damn[ed] if you don't," in response to the criticism.

Several of the trees in NDG fell on parked cars. (Kate McKenna/CBC)

There was a torrential downpour on Thursday night in Montreal, as predicted, but many braved the rain in their costumes to do their round of candy-collecting, anyway.

In Mascouche, some came up with a creative solution