Powerful winds, heavy rain leave thousands in Quebec, Ontario in the dark

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Hundreds of thousands of people have found themselves without power in Central Canada after heavy winds swept through Ontario and Quebec today.

In Quebec, violent winds as strong as 90 km/h in some areas, accompanied by heavy rain, left more than 300,000 without power late today. Those same winds struck Ontario earlier in the day.

In the Montreal area, the winds toppled multiple trees, knocked down power lines and street lights, and sent debris swirling into the streets.

The main areas hit are the Laurentian Mountains and the Montreal area. But Hydro-Quebec says there have also been a smattering of outages in other parts of the province.

The power utility says it's evaluating the damage to the network and isn't immediately sure how long repairs will take.

The winds are expected to die down later tonight.

Hydro One crews were also working to restore power to roughly 126,000 customers in central and eastern Ontario late Friday, but warned it would only be able to complete the work as late as Sunday.

The worst hit areas are Bracebridge, with 17,000 customers affected, followed by Huntsville, Kingston and Parry Sound, each with 13,000 customers without power.