Thousands of Quebecers remain in the dark Thursday as heavy rain and powerful winds batter large swaths of southern Quebec.
Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for several regions, including Montreal, Quebec City and Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
“It’s quite an impressive system,” said Simon Legault, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.
The weather agency says up to 80 millimetres of rain is expected to fall over the lower Laurentians, Montreal and the Montérégie by Thursday evening.
Drivers should give themselves extra time on the roads. Environment Canada says localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads,” the warning reads.
The torrential rain and strong winds have led to power outages in Quebec. Gusts of wind caused several fallen tree branches, which damaged Hydro-Québec’s electricity grid.
In Quebec, about 29,778 people are without power, and about 1,179 customers in Montreal are in the dark as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday night, according to Hydro-Québec.
“We have almost 200 teams on the ground,” the public utility said in a statement.
In Côte Saint-Luc, Joy Kalinowicz woke up to a fallen tree in the middle of her backyard. The strong winds knocked it down, leading the tree to smash into the fence and her roof — and knock out power.
“We are in the dark,” she said, adding that she hopes power will be restored by the evening.
As a result, public security was stationed outside her home to ensure workers and residents don’t enter the backyard since electric wires could be live.
“They don’t want anyone to get injured,” she said.
Tough commute home
The torrential downpour has made for a tricky commute in the greater Montreal area.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) warns there is an accumulation of water on the roads across the province, notably on Highway 20 in Montreal near the Angrignon overpass.
“Lane closures are expected so plan your trip home,” the police force said in a statement.
The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) warns there are delays on its bus network due to weather conditions.
At the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, several flights are delayed or cancelled.
— With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez and The Canadian Press