Canada power outages may extend into New Year

Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:18pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The lights were slowly coming on again Tuesday at thousands of homes in Eastern Canada, but some people will have to wait until New Year before their power returns, after gale-force winds over the weekend caused widespread outages.

Electricity distributor Hydro One said it had restored power to 170,000 Ontario customers affected by Sunday's severe windstorm. By Tuesday afternoon, about 65,000 were still without power, the provincially owned utility said.

"Hydro One still expects most customers will have their power restored in the next 24 hours; however, some customers in more remote access locations such as islands could remain without power until January 1 or 2," it said in a release.

Most areas still without power were in central and eastern Ontario, Hydro One said.

Southern regions of Ontario and Quebec were blasted by winds of up to 100 km per hour (62 mph) on Sunday, which brought down power lines and trees, and damaged buildings across the two provinces.

(Reporting by Rob Wilson; Editing by Jeffrey Jones)