800,000 Lose Power as Freezing Rain Hits Ontario and Quebec

. 800,000 people are without power in Ontario and Quebec after freezing rain and thunderstorms.

Officials reported that freezing rain and thunderstorms knocked out electricity for 800,000 people in parts of Ontario and Quebec.

Quebec's electricity utility announced shortly after 5 pm that over 676,000 customers out of its 4.5m had no power as a large part of the province was still under a freezing rainfall warning.

Hydro-Quebec spokesperson Gabrielle Leblanc explained that the combination of wind and rain is what causes the power outages. It weighs down vegetation. There are branches and trees which can fall on the lines.

More than 316,000 Montreal customers lost power. In the Monteregie area, located south of the city, 171,000 people also experienced outages.

Leblanc stated that many of the power outages affected only a small area and only a handful of customers. Crews would have to fix multiple breaks in order to restore electricity to all.

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There were many reports of trees that had fallen in Montreal. Transport Quebec reported that weather conditions forced them to close the Victoria Bridge which connects Montreal and its southern suburbs.

Francois Bonnardel, Minister of Public Security, said that his department had set up a center to coordinate the response to the storm.