NEWS

Ontario, Quebec Clean Up After Powerful Storms

07/20/2013 06:48 EDT | Updated 09/19/2013 05:12 EDT

Southern Ontario and Quebec are cleaning up after severe storms swept across central Canada Friday, killing one person, injuring many others and leaving thousands without power.

The thunderstorms produced strong winds, hail and reports of a few tornadoes. Trees were felled and buildings damaged across a large portion of southern Ontario, from the Niagara region to the Ottawa area, and across southern Quebec. The Montreal region also experienced some flooding after nearly 30 millimetres of rain fell in just 15 minutes.

The 21-year-old woman died after she was struck by a falling tree branch at a pool in Boucherville, Que., on Montreal's south shore. A six-year-old boy and a 40-year-old woman were also hurt.

Hydro-Québec said more than 246,000 customers were without power as of early Saturday afternoon, a lower number than the 400,000 customers without power late Friday night in the wake of severe storms.

As of midday Saturday, 93,000 Ontarians were without power, down from over 195,000 Friday night.

"Our crews are out in full force clearing trees and rebuilding the distribution system to get power flowing and we appreciate our customers’ patience," said Hydro One Vice-President Len Len McMillan.

Another 2,000 Toronto residents are still in the dark, and Toronto Hydro said on their Twitter page that large areas were restored overnight and crews were not focused on smaller streets and houses.

Also in Toronto, the aged silver maple said to have inspired the anthem The Maple Leaf Forever was felled by severe winds.

Quebec and Ontario had suffered intense heat and humidity over the past week, with temperatures in the 30s and humidex values easily in the 40s. But there is some relief with the temperature following the storms, as much of the humidity has dissipated.

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