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Southern Quebec hit by power outages, flooding after severe thunderstorms

Click to play video: 'Montrealers cleaning up after Thursday’s flash flood' Montrealers cleaning up after Thursday’s flash flood
WATCH: Many residents and business owners around the city are still dealing with the effects of Thursday's heavy rain storm. The strong thundershowers left tens of thousands in the dark and the downpour caused flooding on several streets and inside homes. As Global’s Olivia O'Malley reports, the cleanup efforts are ongoing – Jun 17, 2022

A cleanup is underway in Quebec on Friday, a day after severe thunderstorms hit the southern half of the province, causing flooding and massive power outages.

Environment Canada reports that 41,000 Hydro-Québec customers were without electricity at the peak of the storm on Thursday.

“The outages are mainly caused by vegetation coming into contact with the network following strong winds,” the public utility wrote on its website late Thursday.

A messy mix of heavy rain and high winds swept through Montreal and several other regions for hours, starting in the late afternoon and lasting into the evening.

“We received between 40 and 60 millimetres of rain in less than an hour, possibly less than 30 minutes at some places as well,” said Simon Legault, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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Click to play video: 'Storm system brings hail, heavy rain to parts of Greater Toronto and Hamilton area' Storm system brings hail, heavy rain to parts of Greater Toronto and Hamilton area
Storm system brings hail, heavy rain to parts of Greater Toronto and Hamilton area – Jun 16, 2022

READ MORE: Hydro-Québec says deadly spring storm cost $70M

In Montreal, the downpour led to flooding on some streets and highways. Philippe Sabourin, a spokesperson for the city, said citizens made about 800 calls about the weather event.

“Forty of them were calling for flooding into their houses,” he said.

At Resilience Montreal, a shelter for the city’s homeless community, volunteers were busy Friday disinfecting surfaces and assessing the damage from flooding. Garbage bags and boxes in the organization’s basement were submerged in at least eight inches of water.

“We ended up unfortunately having to throw out some food and also having to just throw out some clothing as well,” said David Chapman, executive director of Resilience Montreal.

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The organization is in need of clothing donations after the flooding, which marks the fourth time in three years.

Meanwhile, some residents in Montreal’s Verdun neighbourhood came to home to find their street completely flooded.

“I arrived across the street. And they literally had to walk, to walk in a mix of mud, water and other stuff that you don’t want to walk in,” said Eric Hammel.

Click to play video: 'Montreal’s weather forecast for Friday, June 17, 2022' Montreal’s weather forecast for Friday, June 17, 2022
Montreal’s weather forecast for Friday, June 17, 2022

Rainwater also infiltrated some of the city’s Metro system and interrupted service temporarily on the Blue line. The powerful thunderstorms also wreaked havoc on air travel, with a slew of flight cancellations and delays at the Trudeau airport on Thursday night.

Environment Canada had issued several warnings for regions in the southern half of the province, including tornado watches for some areas.

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The weather event was so severe that homes were damaged in some regions, including the community of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac in Deux-Montagnes. The weather agency reports that lightning struck a residence and led to a fire.

The Sainte-Thérèse fire department said the damage was extensive for two homes as a result of the fire, but the situation was under control by the early evening.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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