Half a million customers in Quebec still without power after Friday’s autumn storm

MONTREAL — Roughly 500,000 homes and business in Quebec are still without power following an autumn storm Friday that carried winds up to 100 kilometres per hour and heavy rain across the province.

Energy Minister Jonatan Julien says the province’s hydro utility expects to restore power to most customers by the end of the weekend.

Southern Quebec continues to have the highest number of blackouts in the province with major outages in the region south of Montreal, the Laurentians, and the Chaudiere-Appalaches area south of Quebec City.

Heavy rain also brought flooding to southern parts of the province but Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault says she doesn’t have the precise numbers of those forced from their homes because local authorities haven’t updated their figures.

Roughly 250 homes and businesses were evacuated Friday in Sherbrooke, Que., and about 30 roads were flooded in the region.

A 63-year-old man died Friday morning in Bromont, about 85 kilometres east of Montreal, after a tree fell on him.

Julien says nine teams from New Brunswick are in the province helping Quebec hydro workers restore electricity and other teams from Michigan are expected by the evening.

About one million people were without power at the height of the blackouts, the highest number since the 1998 ice storm, when 1.4 million homes and business were left in the dark. But unlike in 1998, when the power transmission lines collapsed, the hydro utility said the main distribution network this time was not affected.

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