01/31/2013 02:32 EST | Updated 04/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Strong winds cause power outages across Quebec

Strong winds are wreaking havoc across Quebec, knocking out power lines and contributing to building damage in several parts of the province.

Shortly after 9 p.m., Hydro-Québec said about 47,000 customers were without power across the province as winds up to 100 km/h knocked out hydro equipment.

About 110,000 customers were without power before more than 300 Hydro-Québec teams began trying to restore power in several municipalities.

Mathieu Rouy, a spokesman for Hydro-Québec, said high winds are making their work difficult.

Environment Canada issued a wind warning for most of the province. It said the gusts affecting the Montreal and Laval areas should move towards the Quebec Lower North Shore tonight.

Highway closed briefly

A truck was overturned by strong winds on Highway 25 near Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, about 50 kilometres north of Montreal, earlier this afternoon but the highway has since reopened.

Some buildings have been damaged by the strong gusts and flying debris.

At the Montreal courthouse, a skylight was broken by airborne debris.

Chimneys on the roof of the new University of Montreal super hospital in downtown Montreal were also damaged by the wind early this afternoon and threatened to blow away.

Authorities had set up a safety perimeter around the building.

Saint-Denis Street was closed between Viger Street and Saint-Antoine Street for a part of the afternoon.