Monday, December 23, 2013

Ice storm knocks out power for 445,000 in Ontario and Quebec

via http://www.globalpost.com/

An ice storm knocked out power for about 445,000 households in Ontario and Quebec over the weekend, and utilities officials say the heat and the lights won’t come back on for many homes until after Christmas.

Downed trees, sagging power lines and icy roads have made walking and driving hazardous. Whole neighborhoods of Canada's largest city Toronto have been in the dark for days.

“We’re now tracking a cold front that’s moving in from the west and the winds, we believe, will probably create further damage,” Toronto Hydro spokeswoman Vanessa Nero told Bloomberg Businessweek Monday. “Winds are making it difficult for crews to restore power. The restoration time for most customers is likely not going to be until Friday.”

Up to 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) of ice fell in the greater Toronto area during the storm, according to Environment Canada, and as much as 10 millimeters more ice is forecast to fall in southeastern Quebec on Monday.

“We’re now tracking a cold front that’s moving in from the west and the winds, we believe, will probably create further damage,” Toronto Hydro spokeswoman Vanessa Nero told Bloomberg Businessweek Monday. “Winds are making it difficult for crews to restore power. The restoration time for most customers is likely not going to be until Friday.”

Up to 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) of ice fell in the greater Toronto area during the storm, according to Environment Canada, and as much as 10 millimeters more ice is forecast to fall in southeastern Quebec on Monday.

The hardest hit neighborhoods in Toronto are North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough.

On Sunday – one of the busiest travel and shopping weekends of the year – Toronto’s Pearson International Airport canceled 400 flights and the Toronto Transit Commission suspended allstreetcar service.

Delays and cancellations continue today in the region’s airports, subway lines, streetcar lines and Via Rail routes.

More from GlobalPost: Calamity Calling: Weird weather hits America’s breadbasket (VIDEO)

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