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Irene slams Quebec with strong winds, power outages

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by Journal Of Commerce

The storm formerly known as Hurricane Irene left nearly 250,000 Hydro Quebec customers without power and put travel restrictions on the Confederation Bridge, which links New Brunswick with Prince Edward Island.

HALIFAX

The remnants of hurricane Irene packed a windy punch Monday morning, leaving nearly 250,000 customers in Quebec without electricity.

Wind warnings were in effect for the Maritime provinces and southern Quebec.

Hydro-Quebec said most of the outages, affecting about 248,500 customers, were in the Montreal area as the outer fringes of the storm brought heavy rain and gusts to the region.

Environment Canada said the strongest wind gusts of 113 km/h were reported on Ile d'Orleans, Que., just east of Quebec City. By the time storm had crossed into Canada, its winds were no longer strong enough to classify the system as either a hurricane or tropical storm.

Travel restrictions were put in place on the Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island on Monday because of strong winds.

A tropical storm warning was lifted early Monday for portions of coastal Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but forecasters warned the post-tropical storm was still capable of causing dangerous storm surges in coastal areas and flooding.

As of 3:00 pm Monday, an Environment Canada map had the eye of the storm which no longer had hurricane status, north of Sept Iles, Quebec, about half way between the north of the shore of the St. Lawrence River and the boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Forecasters were calling for higher than normal water levels and heavy pounding surf for the Bay of Fundy, the St. Lawrence River and the northeastern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Rainfall warnings were lifted for New Brunswick, but remained in effect for portions of southern and eastern Quebec.

Environment Canada said 107 millimetres of rain had already been dumped on Sherbrooke, Que. In New Brunswick, the soggiest community was Doaktown, which reported 89 millimetres of rain.

In the United States, more than 20 people were killed when a powerful Irene churned along the Eastern Seaboard. Millions were left without power and thousands of flights were cancelled.

CANADIAN PRESS

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