Strong winds knock out power as cold front sweeps through parts of Ontario

Thousands without power

At least 38,000 Ontario residents were without power early Saturday afternoon, one major utility said, as strong winds caused by a cold front buffeted southern and eastern Ontario as well as some of the province's northern regions. 

An online map from Hydro One showed more than 300 outages in the early afternoon, mainly in southern and eastern Ontario. 

Environment Canada advisories for the affected areas warned that winds with gusts up to 90 kilometres per hour were expected, including in the Greater Toronto Area, London and Windsor.

"That's pretty much what happened," said Peter Kimbell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with the weather agency.

He said the highest wind gust recorded so far was in Port Colborne, Ont., on the shores of Lake Erie, where wind speeds reached as high as 100 kilometres per hour. 

But the stormy conditions were relatively short-lived, Kimbell said, adding areas battered by high winds should already be seeing local inprovement.

"The peak winds were relatively brief, maybe an hour," he said.

The cold front was moving east, Kimbell said, noting the active weather associated with it is expected to reach eastern Ontario and the province of Quebec as the afternoon progresses. 

Environment Canada had previously said the winds could cause power outages and damage buildings. 

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