In a grim start to a long weekend in Canada, at least five people were killed on Saturday and hundreds of thousands of customers were without power, according to Environment Canada, after a series of thunderstorms cut a violent path through parts of Quebec and Ontario.
The storm — with gusts of more than 80 miles per hour — uprooted trees and damaged power lines and structures in southern and central Quebec and southern Ontario, Environment Canada, the government’s weather service said. On Sunday, a day before Canadians were due to celebrate Victoria Day, were scattered tree branches still blocked roads and animals were stuck shattered barns. Utilities rushed to restore power to customers, some of whom had been in limbo for more than 12 hours.
In Brampton, Ontario, just west of Toronto, a woman died after being struck by a tree while walking outside during the storm. according to the Peel regional police† Another person died when a tree fell on a camper van parked at Pinehurst Lake, Ontario Provincial Police said:† In Ottawa, a 59-year-old man has died after a tree fell on him on a golf course, police said.
In Quebec, a 51-year-old woman died after her boat capsized and she fell into the Ottawa River in Gatineau, just north of Ottawa, police said.
Widespread blackouts lasted until Sunday morning, with about 300,000 customers, mostly in Ontario, still without electricity. Hydro One, a power company serving Ontario, said its transmission system in the Ottawa region had suffered significant damage.
“We expect it to take several days to restore power after today’s devastating storm,” the company said said on Twitter on Saturday evening, directing customers to the outage map for further updates.
More bad weather was forecast for Sunday, such as Canada environment warned about thunderstorms in central and southern Quebec, and of the potential for severe weather near the Appalachians.
Jim Watson, the mayor of Ottawa, said in a… statement on Saturday that the city had deployed “city and hydropower crews” to restore power and clear roads.
“This was a huge storm and we ask for your patience,” added Mr Watson.