Winter storm knocks out power to thousands in Quebec, Ontario
More than 20 cm of snow Friday has kept emergency responders busy in Ottawa
More than 26,000 people in eastern Ontario and western Quebec are without power after a winter storm dropped more than 20 centimetres of snow on the region Friday.
Hydro Quebec reported at 4:30 p.m. that 18,739 customers across the region were experiencing power outages, likely a result of heavy snow and ice knocking down tree branches onto power lines.
The outages were in pockets across the region including in the Papineau, Gatineau Valley, Collines-de-l'Outaouais and Pontiac regions and also in the City of Gatineau.
The Camp Fortune ski hill in Chelsea, Que., got significant snow Friday morning, but it was forced to close all day because of a power outage. Mont Cascades in Cantley, Que., is open.
About 8,000 Hydro One customers were also without power east and west of Ottawa, mainly near Embrun, The Nation Township, Lanark Highlands and White Lake. Hundreds of Hydro Ottawa customers were likewise without power.
Another 5 cm expected tonight
The storm began dropping snow overnight and steadily into the morning and day. By noon, 21 cm had fallen and CBC Ottawa climatologist said another 5 cm were expected before the storm began to taper overnight.
Environment Canada said the storm will taper from west to east on Saturday as it moves into eastern Quebec.
Ottawa police and OPP have responded to more than 100 calls for collisions throughout Ottawa and along Highway 417 today as heavy snow continues to blanket the region.
From midnight to 11:45 a.m. Friday, Ottawa police responded to 75 calls.
The incidents included vehicles heading off the road and into ditches, as well as fenderbenders.
OPP, meanwhile, responded to 46 calls from 1 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Man killed while walking along highway in blowing snow
Emergency responders are asking people to avoid driving, if possible, and to take extra time to commute if driving is necessary.
There has been one reported fatality during the storm. A 21-year-old man from Cantley, Que., was killed early Friday morning when he was hit by a vehicle while he walked along Highway 307.
It happened at about 5 a.m. near Denis Road.
It was still dark at the time, visibility was poor due to blowing snow, and the driver didn't see the man walking, police said. The driver was taken to hospital to be treated for shock.
School bus services, some flights cancelled
All Ottawa school buses were cancelled this morning as a winter storm from Colorado moves through the region, but schools in both the public and Catholic boards remained open.
Buses were also cancelled for the Upper Canada District School Board and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.
Again, schools for both of the boards remained open.
At the Ottawa airport, about 20 arrivals and 20 departures were either cancelled or delayed.
OC Transpo bus service is delayed by about 20 minutes across the city, and some buses were involved in crashes on local roads as well as the Transitway.
One double-decker bus flipped onto its side and into the ditch along Woodroffe Avenue near Fallowfield Road at about 7:30 a.m. The driver, who was the only person on the bus, managed to crawl out safely through a window.