Weather warnings in place across Canada as fierce storms move across the country

Weather warnings remain in place across the country as major storms continue to dump snow and freezing rain on Quebec, Ontario and B.C., and batter the Atlantic provinces with heavy rain and powerful winds.

Hundreds of thousands of customers have been left without power in the final hours before Christmas, with hydro crews working around the clock to get the lights back on.

A Hydro-Quebec spokesman said about 1,000 workers were repairing power lines to restore electricity to approximately 355,256 customers as of early Saturday morning.

Across the border in Ontario, nearly 74,000 Hydro One customers were without power.

More than 43,000 New Brunswick Power customers were still in the dark early Saturday. along with more than 10,000 in Prince Edward Island.

Nova Scotia Power issued a release Saturday morning saying of the approximately 104,000 customers who had lost power, electricity had been restored to about 75 per cent of them by 6 a.m.

Environment Canada forecasted rain and powerful gusts through to Christmas Eve in the Maritimes, with the storm moving into Newfoundland and Labrador until Saturday night.

The fierce winter storms put a damper on holiday travel plans as well, with flights cancelled at major airports in Ontario, Quebec and B.C., and police closing sections of provincial highways due to hazardous driving conditions.

In Metro Vancouver, icy buildup halted transit trains and threatened to fall from the cables on the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges, and heavy snow mixed with freezing rain prompted “moderate to high” avalanche warnings for Highway 3 between Hope and Hedley, as well as Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon.

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