MONTREAL -- Powerful wind gusts knocked out power to thousands of Hydro Quebec clients on Friday evening.

As of 6 p.m., 12,700 households lacked electricity across the province, most of them in Monteregie and Mauricie.

Only 126 clients had lost power in Montreal, where winds rattled trees and homes.

Environment Canada said violent gusts could reach 80km/h but would weaken as the evening progressed.