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Strong winds gusting as high as 72 mph left 300,000 Quebeckers without power and at least six people dead Saturday in traffic accidents.

The gusts also ripped a large piece from the brick facade of a 14-story apartment building in Montreal. The bricks fell on top of a neighboring 16-apartment building, ripping a large hole in the roof.

Just east of Montreal, a home caught fire when a power pole fell onto the roof.

Highway 229 through the region was closed for the day because several power poles were leaning perilously over the road.

Hydro-Quebec had more than 1,300 technicians working throughout the province Saturday to restore service knocked out when the wind toppled transmission lines and blew trees onto power lines.

By early evening, the number of homes without power stood at around 43,000, including 4,200 on the island of Montreal.

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