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Wet winter storm brings power outages, messy roads to Quebec

Wet winter storm brings power outages, messy roads to Quebec
WATCH ABOVE: Power outages occurred across the province after Saturday and Sunday's freezing rain and strong winds sent tree branches crashing onto power lines and caused havoc on the province's roads. Hydro-Québec worked through Sunday to make sure most of their customers got their electricity back as soon as possible.

Hydro-Québec has reported that 41, 500 customers in Quebec are without power as of 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, with most of them concentrated in the Montérégie region of the province.

Most of the Montérégie clients experiencing outages are in La Haute-Yamaska area (14, 074) and Longueuil (10, 442). 

The power company says they estimate power will return to all clients by Sunday night — less than 24 hours after reporting at 8 a.m. Sunday that 130, 000 clients were without electricity.

Power outages occurred across the province after freezing rain and strong winds sent tree branches crashing onto power lines and caused havoc on the roads on Saturday into Sunday.

Southern and eastern Quebec experienced heavy rainfall during the day on Saturday, which then turned into freezing rain Saturday evening. Snowfall and strong winds then began overnight into Sunday causing outages to occur in several regions across the province.

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How to gear up for this weekend’s winter storm
How to gear up for this weekend’s winter storm

READ MORE: Weather warning in effect for Greater Montreal

At 12:30 p.m. Sunday Hydro-Québec reported 92, 655 clients were without electricity in the province. The regions that experienced the highest number of outages in Quebec were Montérégie (74,806 clients), Chaudière-Appalaches (5,783 clients), Greater Quebec City (4,849 clients), the Laurentians (3,167 clients) and Estrie (2,062 clients).

A list of all the regions affected by outages is available on the Hydro-Québec website and is consistently updated. 

Blowing snow and difficult driving conditions caused the closure of several roads Sunday morning. You can follow Transport Quebec’s road closure updates for the province here. For Montreal specifically, you can stay up to date here.

Quebec’s transportation department warned of icy conditions, snowy roads and reduced visibility in areas surrounding Montreal and Quebec City.

READ MORE: Messy cocktail of freezing rain, powerful winds on the way for southern Quebec

The City of Montreal said they will be doing their best to make the streets and sidewalks safe. The city’s website also lists tips for dealing with winter storms, which includes using public transit if possible. If you do drive, the city says try to stay on major roads since they get cleared sooner. They also warn to look out for falling ice.

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Urgence Québec asked the public to check the province’s road network and follow alerts from Environment Canada before heading out this weekend.

They also recommend citizens read its guide on what to do in case of a power failure. This includes details on preparing an emergency kit and how to operate a generator.

–With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise and The Canadian Press

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