MONTREAL — More than 63,000 Hydro-Quebec customers were without electricity early Wednesday after severe thunderstorms ripped through southern Quebec, Montreal and the Laurentian region north of the city.
Most of the outages were in the Montreal area affecting more than 42,000 homes and businesses, with another 8,000 blackouts reported in the Laurentians and a further 7,500 in communities south of Montreal.
Hydro-Quebec spokesman Mathieu Rouy says the wind gusts were so violent, fallen trees and branches littered the streets, making it difficult for repair crews to get through.
In Montreal, the greatest damage appeared to be in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood where pictures posted on social media showed numerous trees snapped in two by the wind and streets littered with branches and debris.
A spokesman for the Montreal Fire Safety Authority said about 20 residences on one street in NDG had to be evacuated after snapped branches fell on transformers and homes.
Other pictures posted by residents also showed downed trees and wind-blown debris as far north as Lachute, about 85 kilometres north of Montreal.
Importants dommages à Lachute pic.twitter.com/iQY5YbFtZo— Estelle Côté-Sroka (@Estelle_RC) August 23, 2017
Environment Canada had issued a severe thunderstorm warning on Tuesday morning, saying severe thunderstorms were capable of producing damaging wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.