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Updated: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 09:36:59 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Storms knock out power across Ontario, Quebec



Hydro One crews are on scene after severe storms uprooted a tree in Toronto. The tree fell on two vehicles. Tony Smyth/CBC

Hydro One crews are on scene after severe storms uprooted a tree in Toronto. The tree fell on two vehicles. Tony Smyth/CBC

A line of severe storms swept across parts of Ontario and Quebec last night, bringing heavy rain and winds gusting to 90 km/h, and knocking out power in wide areas of both provinces.

Blackouts affected well over 100,000 homes and businesses between Windsor and the Kingston area at the height of the storm, according to Ontario's Hydro One. 

The power was back on for some by morning, but by 8 a.m. ET, some 60,000 customers were still without electricity. 

In the Toronto area, about 70,000 customers were left in the dark. Another 24,000 were affected in London. Crews worked through the night to get the lights back on, though by early Monday morning, "small pockets" of Toronto were still without power, according to Toronto Hydro. 

In Quebec, a total of 23,664 Hydro-Québec customers lost power. 

Hydro-Québec spokeswoman Marie-Élaine Deveault said the strong winds snapped trees and branches, downing power lines.

She said crews are working on restoring power, although the lights were back on for some 3,000 shortly before 9 a.m. Monday.

“They’ll [the crews] stay there as long as they have to,” Deveault said. 

In the Montreal area, winds were gusting up to about 80 km/h, and 1,337 customers were without electricity.

Deveault said it’s too early to tell when all the power will be restored.

“The winds are still strong right now, so we’re following this situation,” she said.

The weather system roared into Ontario after punishing the American Midwest with tornadoes and thunderstorms that left at least six dead in Illinois.

In the central Illinois town of Washington, a twister obliterated entire neighbourhoods, flipping vehicles, uprooting trees, and ripping down power lines.

The storms also caused damage in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

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