Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Widespread flooding across Quebec and Ontario

Flooding in Sherbrooke. (Sherbrooke Record)
The heavy rain and snow are well off to our east this morning as cold air and high pressure settle into southern Quebec. Between 25-50mm of rain has fallen in the region since late Sunday, the bulk of that coming along a cold front Tuesday afternoon. That front dropped temperatures in a hurry with rain changing to wet snow in Montreal by 5pm on Tuesday. Depending where you were in the metro region you had between 1-5cm of snow. This coming on the heels of a 16C high. Even better is where the temperature is this morning, at -7C, a new record low for Montreal for the date. It has eclipsed a long standing record low of -5C set in 1943. Sunshine will dominate today but it will only make it up to 2C. Warmer weather will return starting tomorrow. The front yesterday was impressive with the temperature at my home on L'Ile Perrot hitting 16.1C at 10:57am. As the front progressed across the city temperatures fell rapidly to 11C in a few minutes, down to 7C within the hour and below freezing by 4pm.

My daughter Maggie LB took the photos above and below of the swollen St Francis & Massawippi Rivers spilling onto the Campus at Bishops University in Lennoxville on Tuesday. The Campus remains closed today.
The rain and melting snow have caused widespread flooding across the southern half of the province. Numerous rivers including the St Francis, Yamaska, Chateauguay and Chaudiere and even Lake Champlain are over their banks this morning. Homes, business and many roads are flooded. At last count nearly three dozen roads were inundated or closed in Quebec, mostly across the Townships and Beauce. About 600 people were forced to evacuate in Sherbrooke after the Saint Francis River overflowed into certain sectors of the city. Further downstream conditions were the same in Lennoxville where water poured onto the Campus of Bishops University. Classes and exams were cancelled for the day yesterday and the Campus remains closed today to non residents with students asked to remain in place for now. According to the Mayor of Sherbrooke, the worst is yet to come with more snow melting in the mountains and the water continuing to rise. More of the same in northern Vermont and New York where rising waters have closed many roads, forced evacuations and led to water rescues. In Eastern Ontario the Kemptville Creek and Rideau River are spilling over as well flooding farmland, roads along the waters edge as well as the Rideau Glen golf course. Around Laval and the island of Montreal the St Lawrence, Mille Iles and des Prairies are also on the rise and under a flood watch from Urgence Quebec.

The Massawippi River in Lennoxville. Photos Maggie Lowson-Balena
Colder temperatures today will slow down the melting and runoff, but it is only temporary as the water has to run its course. The good news is no major rainfall is forecast for the short term.

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