07/24/2012 09:23 EDT | Updated 09/23/2012 05:12 EDT

Storms trigger power outages across southern Quebec

Close to 9,000 Hydro-Québec customers in southern Quebec remained without power late Tuesday afternoon, after a series of violent thunderstorms downed trees and power lines Monday night.

At the peak of the fury, nearly 80,000 clients lost electricity.

Crews worked through the night and into Tuesday to clear tree branches and restore power.

The worst hit areas include the Montérégie, Lanaudière and the Laurentians, as well as the island of Montreal.

"The power outage has been caused mostly by circuit breaker trips," said Hydro-Québec spokesperson Patrice Lavoie. "We also have in some areas branches that have fallen on electric lines, lightning that has struck and…some electric lines on the ground."

Lavoie said Hydro-Québec is hoping to restore power to all customers by the end of Tuesday.

The storm also forced Transport Quebec to postpone the reopening of all lanes of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

The bridge has been down to one lane in each direction for repaving work and was set to reopen Tuesday in time for the morning commute.

That link to Montreal's south shore is now set to reopen at around 8 p.m. Tuesday.