Wednesday, April 16th3.3°C
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Ice storm grips Eastern Canada

Southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes are now fully in the grip of a massive weather system that`s coating the landscape in ice.

The storm has knocked out the electricity to thousands homes and businesses and is creating massive headaches for travellers at one of the busiest travel times of the year.

The weather conditions have resulted in scores of flight cancellations and delays at airports in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, Saint John, N.B., Halifax and St. John's, N.L.

Passengers are being advised to check their flights before heading to the airport.

Toronto shut down streetcar service and there were delays and suspensions of GO and RT service as well.

Outages affecting an estimated 350,000 hydro customers were reported in Ontario, including 250,000 in the Greater Toronto Area, as ice-coated tree branches snapped, pulling down power lines.

Toronto Hydro said it could take up to 72 hours to get everyone reconnected.

Hydro Quebec says nearly 29,000 customers are without power, mainly in the Estrie and Monteregie regions. There are only about 240 customers affected in Montreal.

NB Power reports 3,800 customers without electricity, with more than 3,600 in St. Stephen.

Salting and sanding crews worked through the night in an uphill battle against a dangerous mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain that stretches from Niagara Falls, Ont., to the Atlantic Coast.

The weather conditions are suspected to have been a factor in three fatal highway accidents in Quebec on Saturday, and another in Ontario.

Provincial police are strongly advising people not to drive unless it's absolutely necessary.

As the storm continues its eastward march Environment Canada meteorologist Weiqing Zhang said it would likely be sometime this afternoon before it leaves central Canada and sometime this evening before freezing rain stops falling on the Maritimes.

The Canadian Press


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