Tornado watch in effect for several parts of central and southern Quebec

Environment Canada has issued a tornado watch for many areas of central and southern Quebec today.

Stretching from the Eastern Townships to central Quebec — including Trois-Rivières — and as far as Quebec City, Environment Canada says conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms that could produce tornadoes this afternoon. noon.

Tornado warnings have been issued for the following regions: Eastern Townships, Beauce, Drummondville-Bois-Francs, Mauricie, Quebec and Montmagny—L’Islet.

Large hail and heavy rain are also possible in those areas, the weather agency said.

Other regions of the province, including Montreal and the Laurentians, are subject to severe thunderstorm warnings.

More than 545,500 customers were out of power as of 7:40 p.m. ET, Hydro Quebec said, many of them in the Quebec City, Outaouais, Laurentians, Lanaudière and Montérégie regions.

The steeple of the Saint-Fidèle de Fassett church in Outaouais was completely destroyed on Saturday. (Submitted by Chantale Lauzon)

Strong winds uprooted trees and damaged buildings across much of Quebec. In Outaouais, the steeple of the Saint-Fidèle church in Fassett was completely destroyed.

Strong winds uprooted a large tree in the Saint-Jovite district of Mont-Tremblant. (Submitted Francine Broadhead)

Roads in the Laurentians were seen blocked by downed trees and power lines as evening approached.

Motorists clear blocked roads in the Laurentians

Drivers break a pine tree using a strap to clear a road south of Lost River in the Laurentians.

A video posted on social media also showed strong winds hitting the Saint-Lin-Laurentides region.

The weather agency says people should be prepared for inclement weather and should seek shelter immediately if severe storms are approaching, especially if their area is under tornado watch.

To stay safe during a tornado, the agency recommends going indoors to the lowest room possible, away from exterior walls and windows, such as a basement or closet. Choose a solid building, leaving mobile homes, caravans and cars behind. As a last resort, it is recommended to lie down in a low place and protect your head from any flying debris.

A downed tree was spotted in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal on Saturday. (Amelie Fortin/Radio-Canada)

“This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation,” the weather agency said, adding to watch out for lightning.

A full breakdown of warnings for each region of Quebec can be found on Environment Canada‘s website. public alert page.

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