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Winter storm knocks out power, closes schools in Quebec

Click to play video: 'Messy winter storm hits Quebec'
Messy winter storm hits Quebec
The winter snow storm that hit southern Quebec quickly turned into rain for Montreal -- making for a slushy, sloppy mess outside. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports the mixed bag of weather is making for challenging working conditions. – Jan 10, 2024

A messy winter storm shuttered schools, knocked out power for tens of thousands, and brought close to 40 centimetres of snow to some areas of southern Quebec on Wednesday morning.

Hydro-Québec reported nearly 40,000 clients without power as of 8:30 a.m., with the hardest hit area being the Eastern Townships. The public utility said more than 450 teams will be on the ground throughout the day to restore electricity.

“Most clients affected by outages caused by yesterday’s storm should have their power back on by the end of the evening. Branches and broken trees that came into contact with the lines, due to gusts of wind and heavy snow, caused outages, mainly in Estrie,” Hydro-Québec said.

The heavy snow forced some schools to close in the Laurentians, Eastern Townships and Quebec City areas. The majority of Montreal schools remained open, though.

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Montreal was spared the worst but was hit with a mix of snow accompanied by winds then rain after the storm began late Tuesday afternoon. The city’s public transit authority said most buses were on time the next morning, but that roads were slippery.

Environment Canada said some parts of the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions received nearly 40 centimetres of snow by early Wednesday.

Click to play video: 'West Island mayors, residents gearing up to face winter storm'
West Island mayors, residents gearing up to face winter storm

The Quebec City area could also see similar amounts of snow by the end of the storm.

Environment Canada says residents affected by winter storm warnings should consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow,” the weather agency said.

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