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Schools closed, nearly 300,000 without power as spring storm rolls through Quebec | CBC News


A spring storm bringing heavy, wet snow swept through Quebec overnight, knocking out the lights for nearly 300,000 Hydro-Québec customers and shuttering schools in multiple areas. 

All schools under the English Montreal School Board, the Lester B. Pearson School Board and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board are closed due to a mixture of snow and power outages. 

Some schools under the Riverside School Board in Longueuil are also closed due to power outages. 

As of Thursday morning, Hydro-Québec was logging 836 outages, affecting 297,379 customers across the province.

The most affected regions include Montreal, with more than 100,000 customers affected, followed by the Laurentians and the Montérégie, with more than 87,000 and and 33,000 customers in the dark, respectively. 

Tens of thousands of people in the Outaouais, Laval and Lanaudière are also without power. 

The storm is the result of a clash of two weather systems, one from Colorado and another from the East Coast.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) had issued a snowfall warning Wednesday morning for Montreal, saying total snowfall accumulations of 15 to 20 centimetres are expected until Thursday evening. 

The wet snow combined with northeast winds reaching up to 70 km/h have already caused some large tree branches in Montreal to snap. (Olivier Bachand/Radio-Canada)

Meteorologist Michèle Fleury says the roads during rush hour will be especially slick.  

“There’s already a few centimetres of snow on the ground and the roads are getting slippery, so we need to be careful for rush hour this morning as the snow will continue to accumulate all through the day but especially before noon,” she said. 

Fleury says other areas, including the Eastern Townships, Charlevoix and part of Gaspésie, are expected to get between 20 to 30 centimetres of snow.

The weather agency says snow will be heavy and wet at times as temperatures remain near the freezing mark.

The wet snow combined with northeast winds reaching up to 70 km/h have already caused some large tree branches in Montreal to snap and come into contact with power lines. 

The ECCC is warning rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult in some locations, adding visibility may be suddenly reduced at times.


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