Severe winter storm slams Quebec
It's snowing. It's blowing. And it's very, very cold.
Across Quebec, Environment Canada is warning of winter storm conditions that include snowfall, strong winds, extreme cold and extensive blowing snow.
The Montreal region could get as much as 25 centimetres before the storm's end.
The storm may drop as much as 30 centimetres in the Beauce region and more than 50 in the Gaspé area.
This "snow, cold and wind" combination rarely occurs in Quebec, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Alexandre Parent who says the mercury usually rises during snow storms.
Authorities are urging drivers to postpone non-essential travel until conditions improve.
Provincial police say drivers who do use the road must make sure that their vehicle's windows, roof, hood, mirrors and headlights are well cleared of snow.
The Ministry of Transport says the effectiveness of de-icers such as salt are not effective in the intense cold and the road crews must instead rely on abrasives, such as sand or crushed stone.
Airports cancel flights, border closes to heavy vehicles
At the Trudeau International Airport, many arrivals and departures after 7 a.m. have been delayed or cancelled entirely. Travellers should check their flight's status before heading out.
The same can be said for the Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport where most, but not all flights within Quebec were cancelled for the day after 8 a.m.
However, many flights, such as those flying to or arriving from outside the province, are still listed as on time.
Montreal's public transit agency, the STM, is warning people that adverse weather conditions can lead to delays.
[Weather conditions] 🚌⚠️❄ Montréal is under the snow and wind gusts! These weather conditions could have an impact on the bus network. Allow more time this morning and plan your trip with our real time tools ⏩https://t.co/jGHj3bVglV pic.twitter.com/Bz1FsDL3ff—@stminfo
According to Transports Québec, the New York Department of Transportation banned, starting 3 p.m. Saturday for an undetermined period of time, the transition of trucks and buses at the Lacolle border crossing in Quebec and the Champlain crossing in New York.
The detour, the transportation agency says, is Route 11 — the Rouses Point crossing.
Montreal and much of Southern Quebec is experiencing northeast winds at 40 km/h gusting to 70 with a high of –15 C.
There will be a risk of frostbite during the day and into the night Sunday with wind chill values hovering between –25 and –32.
In other parts of the province, such as Saguenay and Abitibi, wind chill values may drop as low as –50.
Thousands lose power in Montreal's West Island
Thousands were without power Sunday morning in Montreal's West Island, with numbers reaching more than 13,000 at the outage's peak.
Hydro-Québec spokesperson Jean-Philippe Rousseau told CBC the probelm originated at a Baie-d'Urfé substation just before 6 a.m.
There was an equipment breakdown, he said, that affected distribution lines.
Power will be resotred gradually throughout the morning, he said. At around 8:15 a.m., he said 3,200 customers were still without power.