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First heavy snowfall of the season causes school closures, power outages in Quebec

Total snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 cm are expected by the time it stops snowing later Monday.  (Sara DuBreuil/CBC - image credit)
Total snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 cm are expected by the time it stops snowing later Monday. (Sara DuBreuil/CBC - image credit)

After a night of heavy snow in Quebec, some schools called a snow day and cancelled classes.

By 2:30 p.m., 31 centimetres had fallen in Montreal. In the Laurentians, it was 25 to 30 centimetres. The Townships have seen 15 to 30 centimetres.

The heavy snow snapped tree branches and caused power outages.

The closures affected all schools and daycares with the Eastern Townships School Board, as well as Rawdon Elementary, Joliette Elementary and Joliette High schools and Vanguard school and daycare.

Royal Vale School was also closed due to heating issues and will remain closed Tuesday, the school announced just after 4 p.m. Monday.

Kahnawà:ke education centres and offices are closed due to poor road conditions and power outages, mostly in the Eastern Townships and the Montérégie area. As of 4 p.m., there were about 52,000 customers without power.

In Montreal, the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) warned users that its services are being slowed down by the weather conditions. A shuttle service will be available as a backup, it said. Commuter trains were also struggling Monday morning.

Those flying today should check the YUL Airport website, as a number of flights departing from Montreal have been delayed or cancelled.

Cleaning up

Philippe Sabourin, a spokesperson for the city of Montreal, said snow-clearing efforts, including plowing and salting the streets, are already underway.

City workers started clearing the stow overnight and as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, they will start picking up the snow, said Lachine Mayor Maja Vodanovic. There will be over 2,200 equipment vehicles and 3,000 staff on the ground and it should take four to five days for worker to pick up all the snow in the city, she said.

The city will also be working to pick up fallen branches.

Vodanovic is asking people to make sure there's no debris on the sidewalk as fallen branches, cinder blocks and trash can cause breaks in equipment.

"We can say the festive season has started, a lot of people are happy that it's snowing," she said.