Thunderstorm in Canada leaves eight people dead, utilities face power outages
A very strong line of thunderstorms developed near Sarnia, close to the border with Port Huron, Michigan, late Saturday morning and tracked northeastward over Southern Ontario.
Quebec and Ontario power utilities are working to restore services to around 900,000 customers facing outages after thunderstorms caused severe damage and left eight people dead.
Hydro Quebec and Hydro One are mobilizing crews after as many as 550,000 and 351,000 clients, respectively, were left without electricity, the companies said in separate statements. Hydro One said it anticipates it will take “several days” to restore power to all customers, while Hydro Quebec declined to provide a time frame “due to the large number of locations” affected.
A very strong line of thunderstorms developed near Sarnia, close to the border with Port Huron, Michigan, late Saturday morning and tracked northeastward over Southern Ontario. The severe weather hit Toronto before heading toward Ottawa Saturday afternoon and some parts of Quebec thereafter.
Five people died and a few others were injured as a result of the strong winds, which reached 144 kilometers per hour (89.5 mph), according to preliminary reports on the federal government weather agency’s website. The dead toll rose to eight, the CTV News television channel said on its website Sunday citing police reports.
“The initial damage being reported is significant and includes hundreds of broken poles, several downed transmission towers, fallen trees and broken limbs along with many downed power lines,” according to the Hydro One statement. “Outages on the company’s transmission system are also affecting other electricity providers.”
The province of New Brunswick and a southern part of Quebec are on warning or watch for thunderstorms or tornadoes, the federal government said Sunday.