TORONTO – Hydro repair crews continue restoring electricity to thousands of homes and businesses affected by a powerful wind storm that raked Ontario Wednesday.
The Hydro One outage map showed about 38,000 outages by early Thursday, down from a peak of about 88,000. Some areas were not expected to have power back until about 5 p.m.
The strong wind also caused multiple outages in western Quebec. Hydro Quebec was dealing with more than 55,000 outages as of 4 a.m., primarily in the suburbs south of Montreal.
Environment Canada says wind gusts topped 100 kilometres per hour in Port Colborne on the Lake Erie shoreline. Gusts in the upper 90s were recorded in Hamilton, Brockville and at both the Pearson International and Toronto’s Billy Bishop airports.
In addition to bringing down trees, signs, tiles and branches, the wind toppled a large construction crane in Mississauga, and a video posted online by The Weather Network shows bricks being ripped off the side of a residence in Ottawa.
VIDEO: Construction crane collapses in Mississauga during wind storm
Pictures posted on social media show a large KFC bucket and the pole it was mounted on blown to the ground at a Hamilton-area location.
High wind and blowing snow also caused a number of road closures, including Highway 21 between Kincardine and Port Elgin. It was unclear when that stretch of road would reopen.
Environment Canada said although the wind and blowing snow would diminish Wednesday night, bands of flurries off Lake Huron and Georgian Bay were expected to continue and create hazardous driving conditions as far east as Peterborough.
VIDEO: High winds cause havoc across the GTA