07/17/2012 03:51 EDT | Updated 09/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Tornado watch in effect for parts of Quebec

Environment Canada is warning of a tornado risk in western Quebec tonight, as a thunderstorm system moves through the region.

At 5 p.m. ET, a warning was issued for Richelieu Valley and Saint-Hyacinthe. Environment Canada reported that gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour and two-centimetre hail could hit the region.

The warning is in effect until 7 p.m.

André Cantin, a meteorologist for Environment Canada, said a cold front that swept through southwest Quebec triggered severe thunderstorms.

"We had reports of five-centimetre hail in Saint Anicet earlier this afternoon," he said.

Saint Anicet is a town located about 90 kilometres southwest of Montreal.

The thunderstorm system moved through most of eastern Ontario and parts of Quebec, threatening to drop tornadoes and heavy hail on various cities.

Tornado warnings were issued for a dozen communities in Ontario, including south Ottawa, Cornwall and Sharbot Lake, but as of 4:30 p.m. the warnings there had ended.

Warnings had also been issued for the western Quebec communities of Huntingdon and Hemmingford but were later lifted.

Environment Canada said severe thunderstorms likely producing tornadoes were imminent or occurring in the area and large hail, damaging winds and heavy rainfall may also accompany these storms.

Emergency management Ontario recommends taking cover immediately when threatening weather approaches.

High winds during the storm knocked down 10 hydro poles on Route 500 near Casselman, Ont., leaving about 6,000 homes without power.

Ontario Provincial Police said there have been no reported injuries or fires as a result of the downed hydro poles.