WATCH: Snow storm pounds Montreal
As one person put it, it's been a Godzilla of a storm.
A big snow fall whipped by strong winds pounded southern Quebec since Tuesday afternoon leading to tons of accidents, including a multi-vehicle accident on the 10 west near Magog involving roughly 50 vehicles, but luckily there were no serious injuries.
There was an 8-car pileup on the 40 near Kirkland, as well as a crash involving three trucks that slammed into each other and caught fire on Highway 20 near St. Zotique, not far from the Ontario border.
Transport Quebec reported many road closures, including Highway 20 either to go to Ontario or from Ontario to Montreal.
A crash in Ontario, however, proved deadly.
One person died following an afternoon multi-vehicle crash on Highway 401 just outside of Kingston with the poor weather being blamed for the tragedy.
Hospital officials said they treated 29 people for various injuries.
134 patients, all first responders, were decontaminated after one of the vehicles involved, a tanker truck, spilled a hazardous chemical.
The chemical was subsequently identified as hydrofluoric acid.
"It's a highly corrosive chemical, which can cause really bad chemical burns. People became exposed to this that were near the crash site or on the crash site that included first responders. many of these people had to be treated nearby by being decontaminated", said Bill Kingston, editor of the Brockville Newswatch.
Montrealers did what they could to cope with Mother Nature's latest blast of winter, coming just a week before the official arrival of spring.
"We're seeing this monster snowfall and, hey, it's too much, just wearing us down", said Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips in an interview with CJAD 800 News.
"It was kinda snowing sideways... so, you would have your hood up, your hat on, but it wouldn't matter, it would just like hit you in the face and neck. My face was just like frozen over by the time I got inside", said one woman CJAD 800 News spoke with.
The city of Montreal deployed a thousand pieces of equipment and as many workers to plow the snow.
"For sure, we're at full capacity", said city spokesman Phillipe Sabourin in an interveiw with CJAD 800.
"At the same time, we will have abrasives to make sure the conditions of roads will be safe enough", added Sabourin.
The big storm triggered a slew of closures for Wednedsday, (full list below), including school cancellations.
Among other things, the English Montreal school board and the Lester B. Pearson school board both closed schools, and adult centers as well as their offices as a result of the storm..
"It's the first time we've closed schools for snow in 9 years. So, we take these decisions very seriously. Normally, we find a way, the buses get out on the road, but it's been assesed, we've spoken to other boards and we feel this is in the best interest of everyone in the situation", said EMSB spokesman Michael Cohen, who spoke with CJAD 800 News.
"Based on the reports on Environment Canada's website, that the high winds are gonna continue through the night, and through the morning, our buses have to hit the road before 5:30, so it's important that we make that call on a timely basis", said Lester B. Pearson chairperson Suanne Stein Day, also interviewed by CJAD 800.
City buses reported delays, in some cases the buses had diffculty getting up steep roads.
The Agence Metropolitain de Montreal, which runs commuter trains, said crews would be on the job overnight to clear the tracks for the morning commute.
Trudeau airport reported scores of delays as well as cancellations.
Car assistance service CAA Quebec dealt with a deluge of calls.
Delays in the Montreal area ranged from 45 minutes to an hour, maybe more, according to spokesperson Annie Gauthier.
"The situation will get better during the night and tomorrow morning for Montreal. The storm is affecting the delay right now", she added.
Sherbrooke and the Quebec City region remained the hardest hit areas from the powerful storm, which was reflected in power outages.
There were about 60,000 Hydro Quebec customers without power just before midnight, most in the Quebec City area.
In Montreal, the number of power failures was negligible, just over 30 clients in the dark.
The figure for the Monteregie was higher at 340.
Closures March 15, 2017 (updated 9 a.m.)
The following school boards have closed all schools, adult centres, offices and daycares where available:
- Lester B. Pearson
- English Montreal
- New Frontiers
- Sir Wilfred Laurier
- Eastern Townships
- Commission scolaire de Montreal
- Commission Scolaire de Marguerite Bourgeoys
- Commission Scolaire de la Pointe de l'Ile
- Commission scolaire Marie-Victorin-CSMV
- Commission scolaire des Grandes-Seigneuries
- Commission scolaire des Affluents has cancelled classes, but daycare services are still con
- Commission scolaire des Sommets
The following universities and CEGEPs have cancelled classes:
- Bishop's University
- Cégep Édouard-Montpetit (including) l'École nationale d'aérotechnique (ENA) et le Centre technologique en aérospatiale (CTA)
- Centennial College, cegep level at 3744 Prud'homme
- Concordia University, classes cancelled day-time and evening. Campus will be open to public.
- Dawson College (is on spring break, but the school is advising staff to stay home)
- Le Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf
- Marianopolis College
- McGill University, no classes until 1 p.m.
- Université de Montréal
- Vanier College
The following schools have cancelled classes:
- Alexander von Humboldt German International School Montreal
- Beth Rivkah Elementary and High School
- Collège Charlemagne
- College Notre Dame
- Ecole Bilingue Notre Dame de Sion
- École Buissonnière
- Faith Christian Academy
- Garderie Foundation School in Westmount
- Greaves Adventist Academy School
- John Abbott College (Continuing Education classes will be held as usual tonight)
- Le collège Stanislas de Montréal
- Les Écoles Socrates-Démosthènes (All 5 campuses)
- Montreal Oral school for the deaf
- North Star Academy
- O'Sullivan College
- Peter Hall School campuses of Côte-Vertu and Ouimet are closed for students and personnel
- Ratihen:te high school
- Rotiwennakehte elementary
- Strategic Learning Centre Pointe Claire
- Summit School in Saint-Laurent
- The Study School
- Vanguard Private School
- Vaudrin Academy
- Villa Maria
- West Island College
The following daycares are closed:
- Centre Prescolaire Hudson
- CPE Ambcal
- CPE Beth Rivkah
- CPE Concordia
- CPE de Mon Cœur In Montreal
- CPE Dollard
- CPE Dorval
- CPE du Campus in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue
- CPE Hebrew Academy
- CPE Hebrew Day School
- CPE Hebrew Day School Tots of Cote St. Luc
- CPE Hellénique foyer d'enfants
- CPE Laforest enchanter de LaSalle
- CPE les Petites Cellules
- CPE Les P'tits Profs at Concordia University's Loyola Campus
- CPE Maternal enfant des neiges
- CPE McGill
- CPE Montreal Day Nursery
- CPE NDG Play and Care
- CPE of Hebrew Academy
- CPE of Hebrew Foundation
- CPE Petits Coeurs de Francoise
- CPE Riverview in Verdun
- CPE St Andrew's
- CPE Terre des Enfants
- CPE Treehouse in Hudson
- CPE Tyndale St Georges
- CPE Vanier
- Daycare center CPE Lachine
- Garderie Foundation School Westmount
- Garderie les Jolis Coeurs in LaSalle
- Garderie Le Lapin Bleu
- Giant Steps School
- JPPS Children’s Centre
- Le Monde Des Enfants Montessori (in Greenfield Park)
- l'École Alex Manoogian et la Garderie Éducative La Vallée des Fleurs
- Little Learners Daycare
- West Island Daycare in Pointe-Claire
The following community and seniors centres are closed, with no programs running:
- Almage Seniors Community Centre
- Centre de réadaptation de l'ouest de Montreal
- Contactivity Seniors Centre in Westmount