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Thousands still without power after snowfall in Quebec

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Thousands of households were without electricity Friday evening after major snowfall in Quebec the day before. 

As of 4:45 p.m., Hydro-Quebec states the hardest-hit areas are the Laurentians, the Outaouais, and Montérégie. Just a few hundred customers were without power in Montreal shortly after 7 p.m. 

"In several places, power lines are down due to strong gusts of wind or the weight of broken tree branches," Hydro-Quebec notes. "We are mobilizing all available crews to work on restoring service as quickly as possible."

Environment and Climate Change Canada says more than 20 centimetres of snow have been recorded near the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, as well as over 30 centimetres in downtown Montreal.

"For public safety, it is crucial that people not approach power lines," the Crown corporation stresses. "If you see electrical wires on the ground, please do not approach the area and call 911 to have the area secured."

At the height of the outages, Hydro-Quebec says 600,000 customers were affected.

The public utility company says it has about 1,400 people on the ground working to restore power.

The snow is expected to start melting within the next few days, as the forecast predicts warmer weather by the weekend.

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