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Thunderstorm leaves thousands of Quebecers without power

Thunderstorm warnings are in effect for Montreal.
Thunderstorm warnings are in effect for Montreal. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A short-lived storm on Wednesday afternoon left around 3,000 customers without power across Quebec.

In the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, strong winds knocked down trees near the corner of Sherbrooke Street and Grey Avenue, one of the trees fell onto a power line.

The most affected area is Montreal with 857 customers without power at the height of the outage, followed by the Monteregie region with 500 clients in the dark.

NDG cleans up after powerful thunderstorm
NDG cleans up after powerful thunderstorm

“We had severe rain and isolated strong winds in the southern part of Montreal,” said Francis Labbé, a spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec. “In that kind of situation you always have trees falling onto the wires.”

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Hydro-Quebec reported 91 outages in total. “It’s a small amount of outages,” explained Labbé.

Labbé said the most challenging outages are those caused by fallen trees.

“Before even thinking of repairing the grid, our crews have to act like lumberjacks. They have to literally remove the tree before they can even prepare the rest of the work,” Labbé explained.

According to Hydro-Quebec, most customers should expect to have their back in the next few hours.

Severe Thunderstorm watch issued

Environment Canada warned residents in the greater Montreal area to watch out for severe thunderstorms this Wednesday afternoon and early evening.

The website warned that “conditions are favourable for the development of dangerous thunderstorms capable of producing very strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.”

It suggests that residents should prepare for the severe weather and stay indoors.

In addition, a heat warning was also released on Wednesday advising people to stay cool and drink water as much as possible.

READ MORE: Montrealers face dilemma: Staying safe from the heat while staying safe from COVID-19

The heatwave is set to last through Saturday.

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“Temperatures will exceed the 30-degree mark during the day and shouldn’t drop below 20 degrees at night,” it indicates. “The combined temperature and humidity values will produce humidex values of 40.”

Environment Canada advises to check on older family members this week and watch for symptoms of heat-related illnesses such as dizziness/fainting, nausea/vomiting, rapid breathing, extreme thirst and decreased urination with unusually dark urine.

Animals and children should never be left inside a parked car, according to the website.

–With files from Global’s Gloria Henriquez