POLITICS

Widespread blackouts in Quebec due to freezing rain

01/04/2015 10:18 EST | Updated 03/06/2015 05:59 EST
MONTREAL - Crews were working to restore power Sunday night after more than 150,000 Hydro Quebec customers lost electricity because of freezing rain.

The blackouts, primarily in Montreal and in suburbs to the west and south of the city, had been reduced to about 92,000 by mid-evening.

Environment Canada ended its freezing rain warning for the Montreal area late Sunday afternoon, but maintained a special weather statement into the evening.

It said winds of up to 80 kilometres an hour, combined with ice buildup on tree branches and power lines, could cause them to break and make the situation worse.

The freezing rain comes after about 20 centimetres of snow fell on the Montreal area on Saturday before the temperature began to flirt with the freezing mark.

About 50 departures and 65 arrivals at Trudeau Airport in Montreal were delayed because of the poor conditions. Quebec City's airport experienced similar problems.

The snow and freezing rain also caused problems on the roads, with Quebec Provincial Police reporting at least 100 accidents in areas it patrols.

A young woman was killed in one of the accidents in the eastern Quebec community of Trois-Pistoles.