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A woman shovels out her car during a snowstorm, Friday, February 7, 2020 in Montreal. The city is bracing for up to 30cm of snow before its over.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Quebecers woke up Saturday to a massive snowfall that helped trigger more than 1,200 road accidents across the province, including a 70-car pileup east of Montreal that closed part of a major highway.

Up to 40 centimetres of snow covered an area stretching from the Ottawa border through the St-Lawrence Valley and up to the province’s Gaspesie peninsula. Authorities said no deaths had been reported.

Acting Minister of Public Security, Andree Laforest, said Friday night that the heavy snow and strong winds caused at least 1,250 road incidents across the affected area of the province, including a 70-car pileup in St-Hyacinthe that involved a provincial police vehicle.

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The multi-car collision, about 60 kilometres east of Montreal, injured three but none seriously. It also led to the complete closure of Highway 20 towards the west.

Environment Canada said Friday’s storm was the biggest of the winter season in southern Quebec.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb 8., 2020.

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