Thousands still without power in storm-hit Quebec, Ontario

Some Canadians may be having a more old-fashioned Christmas than they intended, as thousands of homes and businesses in Quebec and Ontario are still without electricity after a winter storm knocked out power lines.

At its peak, the power outage left about 130,000 Hydro Québec clients without power, with residents in the Laurentians, the Lanaudière and Outaouais regions being the hardest-hit.

About 60 Hydro Québec crews worked around the clock last night to restore power to 10,000 homes. In total, workers have restored power to more than 85,000 customers since the outage began.

According to the power company, about 48,000 homes and business are still in the dark.

Hydro Québec has called for the assistance of crews from across the province to help clear fallen branches.

In Sainte-Adèle, Que., firefighters helped to lift up fallen power lines, but in some cases they simply came down again after being struck by snow-laden branches.

According to Sophie Lamoureux, director of regional affairs at Hydro Québec, Friday's heavy, wet snowfall was the main cause of the power outages.

In the Laurentians alone, more than 110,000 customers faced power outages. Hydro Québec has restored power to 60 per cent of its customers in that region.

Most clients are expected to have their power returned by tonight, but in less accessible areas some may have to wait until Christmas Eve.

Today, close to 700 Hydro Québec workers have been deployed to help make sure their clients have a cozy Christmas.

In Ontario, nearly 8,000 Hydro One customers were without power east and west of Ottawa on Friday.

Two Hydro Ottawa crews were deployed yesterday to help with recovery efforts in Western Quebec and the upper Ottawa Valley.

Crews have been working to restore electricity, but on Sunday morning more than 3,000 clients were still without power in the Ottawa region.

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