More than half a million Hydro-Quebec customers were without power at the end of the day Wednesday, especially in Montreal, Montérégie and Outaouais, due to the ice storm which also forced the closure of the Victoria Bridge, the omen of a difficult rush hour.

The metropolitan area is still under a freezing rain warning, on this strangely spring-like April 5, with the risk of thunderstorms, and accumulations that can reach 10 to 20 millimeters depending on the sector.

In some places, roads, streets and sidewalks can be icy, warns Environment Canada.

At 4:05 p.m., the Department of Transport announced the closure of the Victoria Bridge, between Montreal and Saint-Lambert, for “an indefinite period” due to “difficult weather conditions”. The detour is via the Samuel-De Champlain bridge.

At 4 p.m., Hydro-Québec counted 527,381 customers without electricity across the province, including 244,274 in Montreal, 154,809 in Montérégie and 100,721 in Outaouais.

Spokesperson at Hydro-Québec, Gabrielle Leblanc assures that teams are “hard at work on the ground”, but that the weather conditions are difficult for the technicians.

“There are broken branches, affected wires. It was the combination of precipitation with the wind that caused the breaks in the network, “she says. Hydro-Québec plans to provide an update on operations in the coming hours.

Meteorologist at Environment Canada, André Cantin reminds us that this phenomenon is not exceptional at the beginning of April. But, according to him, it is most likely the last whiff of winter.

“Sunshine can be expected thereafter,” he said, “with rising mercury, temperatures reaching 15 or even 20 degrees by the middle of next week. “. For the record, he recalls, Quebec had experienced a similar meteorological phenomenon, on April 8, 2019, with ice that had turned into snow.