Heavy winds lash Quebec, toppling trees and plunging thousands into the dark
Published Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:19PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 1, 2013 10:12AM EST
MONTREAL—Heavy winds across Southern Quebec on Thursday smashed a number of portable shelters, snarled highways and transit lines, while plunging over 100,000 Hydro-Quebec customers into the dark.
The heavy winds started during the morning rush hour as an unseasonably warm two days surrendered to cold Arctic air from the north. By the afternoon, winds of up to 100 km/h were being reported across the south of the province.
In Cote-des-Neiges a bus shelter was knocked over, shattering glass across a sidewalk. Tress were knocked down across the island and in Pincourt part of a roof was blown off a house.
A search for survivors after a quarry collapse in l'Epiphanie on Tuesday was called off by the Surete du Quebec after high winds endangered search and rescue crews. The operation will continue at 6:30 a.m. on Friday.
On Highway 40 just before 11 a.m. a truck was blown over near Vaudreuil-Dorion. A similar situation happened hours later near Mascouche as cars and trucks were blown off Highway 25. The highway was closed at 2:15 p.m.
Montreal’s commuter train agency ran into troubles on the Candiac line as strong gusts of wind closed the train bridge between LaSalle and Kahnawake. AMT spokeswoman Brigitte Leonard confirmed that a train was stopped in the afternoon and passengers were loaded onto a bus to cross the river.
A second train was waiting for permission from Transport Canada to use the crossing. No other delays were reported.
As for Quebec’s electrical utility, 300 crews were out across the province attempting to restore power to over 100,000 customers without power. Those affected by the storm were found everywhere up the St-Lawrence Valley.