Blustery winds down Ontario power lines, topple trees
A toppled tree is seen in the backyard of a house in Scarborough, Ont. on Saturday, March 3, 2012.
Published Saturday, March 3, 2012 5:11PM EST
Blustery winds swept across southern Ontario on Saturday morning, toppling trees and leaving thousands without power.
Hydro One said 39,000 customers had their power back Saturday afternoon, out of roughly 70,000 affected by the outages.
The company is working to restore electricity to the remaining 31,000 customers, but warned that about 4,400 -- most of them in central Ontario -- may remain in the dark overnight.
Gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour managed to bring down power lines in some Toronto neighbourhoods. Crews with Toronto Hydro are working to repair downed lines in the city.
Scaffolding and flipped over newspaper boxes were also visible on the streets of downtown Toronto. Police said there were reports that a window had been blown out near the city's entertainment district.
Environment Canada ended its wind warnings for much of southern Ontario, including the GTA, just after 4 p.m. Saturday.
Warnings remain in effect for eastern parts of the province, including Kingston and Cornwall. Strong southwest winds of 60 km/h with gusts of up to 90 km/h have been recorded in several areas. The winds are expected to die down by Saturday night.
Meanwhile, an intense storm system moving from Texas has prompted snowfall warnings across Northern Ontario, where up to 30 centimetres of snow was forecast in some areas. Combined with strong winds, the snow is creating treacherous driving conditions, with near-zero visibility in some areas.
Ontario Provincial Police were shutting down portions of some highways Saturday until road conditions improve.
The snow bands are expected to move into Quebec overnight.
With files from The Canadian Press