Thousands lose power as winter storm wallops southern Quebec
Environment Canada warns motorists that visibility will be greatly reduced
A major snow storm has hit southern Quebec, and appears to be the leading cause behind power outages that, at one point, left more than 46,000 Hydro-Québec customers without power.
Throughout the day, electricity was gradually being restored. Environment Canada reported that 15 to 30 centimetres of snow are expected to accumulate by Sunday.
"Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult," the weather agency warns. "Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow."
Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning in many cases, but a winter storm warning has been issued for areas such as Charlevoix, Lac-Saint-Jean, Lachute, Saint-Jérôme, Lanaudière, the Laurentians, Quebec City and the Mauricie.
Winds gusting up to 70 km/h may produce locally blowing snow and poor visibility in the the Quebec City region, where residents can expect as much as 25 centimetres of snow.
Up to 30 centimetres is expected in places like Saguenay, the North Shore and the Gaspé region.
Higher than normal water levels and large waves are expected near the coast in places like Forillon Park in the Gaspé.
There is no warning for much of the Eastern Townships, but there will be some precipitation. That may mean rain in some areas.
Sledding injuries rise, Children's Hospital warns
With snow on the way, the Montreal Children's Hospital trauma centre is urging everyone to be careful while out enjoying the slippery slopes, as there has been a spike in sledding-related injuries.
This winter, a total of 122 patients have ended up at the Children's after their day of sledding went awry. It was about half that a week ago, when the hospital issued its first warning about the need for improved sledding safety.
Of these injuries, 50 per cent are due to crashes into obstacles such as trees, fences and benches, the hospital said in a statement Friday.
WATCH | Montreal doctor offers safe sledding tips:
With the snow forecast for Saturday, medical personnel are "concerned people will flock to the hills resulting in even more serious head injuries, broken bones, eye injuries and deep cuts."
The Children's urges you to take care on the hills this weekend by following these safety tips:
- Always wear a ski or hockey helmet on the slopes.
- Choose gently sloping hills designated for sledding with wide-open space at the bottom.
- Make sure the hill is clear of all obstacles.
- Remind children to move out of the way as soon as they reach the bottom of the hill.