Montreal

Severe winter weather pummels Eastern Quebec with snow, strong winds

Severe winter weather is rolling through Eastern Quebec with thick snowfall and strong winds causing poor to zero visibility — shutting down schools, roads and services from Quebec City to Gaspé.

As much as 50 centimetres of snow may fall in some regions with wind gusts reaching 100 km/h

Lévis, Que., was blustery and snowy Wednesday morning as severe winter weather slammed the region, making its way east to the Maritimes. (Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc/Radio-Canada)

Severe winter weather is rolling through Eastern Quebec with thick snowfall and strong winds causing poor to zero visibility — shutting down schools, roads and services from Quebec City to Gaspé.

Environment Canada has issued winter storm, wind and blowing snow warnings all the way to the Maritimes. As much as 50 centimetres of snow may fall in some areas and winds may reach 100 km/h.

The intense low-pressure system will affect Eastern Quebec today and Thursday. Travellers are advised to avoid the area until the storm blows through.

An accumulation of five to 10 centimetres is expected in the Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions with wind gusts of up to 80 km/h along the St. Lawrence River.

In Quebec City, only one school for deaf children is closed, but several others have closed in the Beauce, Charlevoix and Bellechasse regions.

Car owners in Quebec City will have to do some heavy shovelling to make way for the city's snow clearing operations on Wednesday evening. (Vicky Plourde/Radio-Canada)

Total amounts between 20 and 50 centimetres of snow are expected in the Gaspé region by Thursday evening, Environment Canada says.

In the Magdalen Islands, gusts may reach as much as 100 km/h, causing damage to buildings and infrastructure.

Transportation woes

Throughout regions affected by the severe winter weather, motorists are advised to stay off the roads when possible or, if necessary, drive with caution.

Quebec City police were called to more than 20 road collisions on Wednesday morning, between 7 a.m. and 9:20 a.m., none of which led to serious injuries.

Trucks are prohibited from using Route 138 between Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and Baie-Sainte-Catherine.

Route 381 linking Baie Saint-Paul to Saguenay is completely closed to traffic.

The Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ) says the Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry is closed all of Wednesday due to the weather. Service will resume on Thursday as of 8 a.m..

With files from Radio-Canada and La Presse Canadienne

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