Thousands of Quebecers are in the dark amid an onslaught of freezing rain and powerful winds on Monday afternoon.
As of 8 p.m., the blast of wintry weather has left more than 300,000 Hydro-Québec clients across the southern half of the province without power. It also forced several schools to close in the Laurentians.
Montreal, the Laurentians and Lanaudière are among the most affected regions.
“Our teams are deployed to restore service as quickly as possible,” the public utility said on social media.
Environment Canada had also issued a freezing rain warning for many areas, including Montreal, the Eastern Townships and the Laurentians.
The weather agency warns up to 10 millimetres of ice accretion is expected over the course of the day.
WATCH (Feb. 6, 2019): Potholes appearing as Montreal weather fluctuates
Drivers and commuters are being advised about poor weather conditions affecting roads.
“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery,” said Environment Canada.
The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is also warning Montrealers to plan their trips in advance and to be careful.
Quebec City hit by snow
In other areas of the province, there is rapidly accumulating snow.
The Quebec City area is expected to see up to 25 centimetres of snow by the end of Monday.
“In addition, strong winds combined with snow will produce blowing snow in the most exposed areas,” said Environment Canada in a snowfall warning.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is warning drivers to slow down and to keep their distance from other vehicles on the road.
After freezing rain, Montreal will likely see snow on Tuesday. Environment Canada says the region can expect up to four centimetres of snow.
The weather agency also warns the warm weather from this weekend won’t be returning once the freezing rain and snow come to an end.
The sun is expected to come back out Wednesday and Thursday, but it will still be chilly.
“There is not a lot of hot air available for the region,” said meteorologist Simon Legault. “We will not see (weather) as hot as the temperatures we experienced on the weekend.”
— With files from The Canadian Press