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70,000 without power in Quebec

By Jonathan Montpetit

A major winter storm blacked out part of southwestern Quebec on Monday, leaving some 70,000 homes and businesses without power while conjuring memories of the 1998 ice storm. Hydro Quebec said the blackout hit the Monteregie agricultural region southwest of Montreal at about 6:40 a.m. Several towns between Saint-Hyacinthe and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu were completely without electricity, while a number of other nearby areas were also left in the dark.

High winds were blamed for crippling the local hydro electrical grid, although hydro officials weren’t able to find any broken equipment. A major storm coupled with freezing rain hit several parts of the province on Monday, making driving extremely dangerous and forcing police to close several highways and roads.

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