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Wind knocks out power to many Canadians

Feb. 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

MONTREAL, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A massive windstorm that hit eastern Canada left more than 138,000 people without power Friday, officials said.

Strong winds that started Thursday were expected to blow through eastern Canada throughout Friday, with winds reaching 75 mph around midnight, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Hydro-Quebec said the winds knocked out power to over 100,000 people across the province.

In New Brunswick, nearly 38,000 NB Power customers were without power in the late afternoon, officials said.

The wind caused the postponement of a search for two missing workers who fell into a more than 300-foot-deep gravel quarry on Tuesday in L'Epiphanie, Quebec.

At least one plane that was scheduled to land at Saint John Airport was diverted to another landing strip, CBC News said.

As many as 50 vehicles were involved in a pileup in whiteout conditions that forced the closure of eastbound lanes of Canada's busiest highway, Highway 401 in Woodstock, Ontario, Friday.

No injuries were reported but eastbound lanes were backed up for miles, police said.

Emergency crews had to lead drivers and passengers through the puzzle pieces of damaged cars to a bus to be taken to Woodstock to get out of the cold.

There was no word Friday on when the highway would be reopened, The London (Ontario) Free Press reported.

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