Schools shut for day as freezing rain coats Quebec

​A messy mid-April mix of ice pellets and freezing rain led to a spring "snow day" for thousands of Quebec students on Monday.

Last time a storm like this hit Quebec in mid-April was in 2007, according to Environment Canada

Freezing rain left surfaces - including bike seats - coated in ice on Monday. (Charles Contant/CBC)

​A messy mid-April mix of ice pellets and freezing rain led to a spring "snow day" for thousands of Quebec students.

The English Montreal and Lester B. Pearson school boards, as well as the Commission scolaire de Montréal and the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys, all cancelled school on Monday.

English Montreal School Board spokesperson Michael Cohen said he has been working at the board for 20 years and he has never seen an April school closure.

"The conditions are too dangerous. We don't feel comfortable with any of buses going out on the road and any of the kids getting out walking, trying to get into class with the sidewalks the way they are, so better to be prudent and safe," he said. 

Centre Greene and all Tyndale St-Georges centres were also closed today.

Much of the province was put under a freezing rain warning on Monday. 

"Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions," the weather agency said.

Environment Canada also issued a storm surge warning for the Quebec City area.

City of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said crews had been out since yesterday spreading abrasives, though sidewalks in some places may still be a bit slippery.

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      Quebec's automobile insurance board (SAAQ) and Urgence Québec advised motorists to avoid driving, but to drive slowly and carefully if they can't avoid hitting the road. 

      A number of flights to and from Montreal were either delayed or cancelled. To check the status of a flight, consult Trudeau airport's website or check with the airline directly.

      Thousands were still without power Monday evening, mainly in the Outaouais and Montérégie regions.

      In a tweet, Hydro said it has been monitoring the situation since Sunday, with crews ready to repair downed electrical lines if needed.

      The weather will improve somewhat as the week goes on, although it won't be sunny for awhile:

      • Monday: Freezing rain changing to rain in the evening. High 3 C. 
      • Tuesday: Periods of rain. High 6 C. 
      • Wednesday: Showers. High 9 C. 
      • Thursday: Rain. High 6 C.
      • Friday: Cloudy with a 30 per cent chance of showers. High 8 C. 

      The last time a storm like this hit Quebec in mid-April was in 2007, according to Environment Canada. 

      With files from CBC reporter Lauren McCallum