Ice storm knocks down hydro lines, closes schools

We won’t see the end of this ice storm until this afternoon in the capital.

The freezing rain warning remains in effect for the entire Ottawa-Gatineau region, with the transition to rain not expected in Ottawa until mid-afternoon.

Ottawa could see up to 10 millimetres more freezing rain on top of all the ice that has fallen since midday Sunday.

Gusts of wind up to 60 kilometres an hour could knock power out for more people — as of 8 a.m., there were more than 52,000 customers in the dark in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

The mix of snow, freezing rain, ice pellets, rain and powerful winds that battered the region Saturday and Sunday made driving treacherous, with provincial police reporting more than 1,450 non-fatal crashes over the two days.

School buses have been cancelled in most areas and some schools have had to close as well.

Toronto Hydro was reporting approximately 10,000 customers in the dark Monday morning. In most cases, crews were dealing with power lines and poles downed by high winds or ice-coated trees that snapped in the onslaught.

At the height of the storm, there were 44,000 customers without power in the city.

Provincial power utility Hydro One said its crews were also working to reconnect nearly 68,000 customers.

The storm also played havoc with air traffic, with more than 600 flights cancelled at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and many others delayed — often for hours. Authorities are advising travellers to check their flight status before coming to the airport.

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