Record-setting rainfall soaks eastern Newfoundland

Rivers are running high, the ground is soaked and Quidi Vidi Lake spilled its banks after four days of steady rain in St. John's.

Almost 200 millimetres have fallen at airport since Friday

The boathouse at Quidi Vidi Lake is closed Tuesday so crews can clean up the debris caused by heavy rain. (Royal St. John's Regatta/Facebook)

Rivers are running high, the ground is soaked and Quidi Vidi Lake spilled its banks after four days of steady rain in St. John's.

Environment Canada's reporting station at St. John's International Airport has recorded 198.4 millimetres of rain since Friday, with some record-breaking daily amounts.

"[On Monday] St. John's airport received 67.6 millimetres. The record actually for greatest rainfall in 1977 was 35.3 millimetres, so that blew past that record," said David Neil, a meteorologist with the Gander Weather Office.

Heavy rain has caused high water levels along the Rennie's River Trail, next to Feildian Grounds in St. John's, September 12, 2017. (Susan Purchase/Twitter)

Saturday wasn't quite as wet, with 49 millimetres of rain, but one millimetre was all it took to break the previous record of 48 millimetres set Sept. 9, 1949.  

The rain started on the Avalon Peninsula on Friday, with a brief reprieve before it resumed late Friday night and continued all weekend and into Monday.

"This was just one of those events that just lasted for a long time and it definitely dumped some significant rainfall," said Neil.

Trailers towed from flooded RV park

Flooding also caused problems in Conception Bay, with the owners of trailers at Crow Hill RV Park near Brigus forced to pull up stakes.

Robert Squires of R&D Towing and Recovery said a friend called him for help on Monday to remove a trailer at the back of the park. 

About 20 recreational vehicles had to be towed out of a park near Brigus on Monday. (Submitted by Robert Squires)

Squires said when he arrived with his truck he was "quite surprised" because the water was "three to four feet in places" and people were "panicking."  

He helped move at least five of the 20 RVs that needed to be relocated to higher ground. He told CBC News "there was decks that people had built around their campers that were floating away." 

According to Squires, in addition to the owner of the park, area residents showed up to lend a hand. He says it was a "big team effort." 

Almost 150 mm in east end of St. John's

Volunteer reporting stations recorded just over 148 millimetres in the east end of St. John's, 128 in Paradise and almost 99 millimetres in Mount Carmel. 

The automated station in St. John's west reported 125.6 millimetres, while Cape Race got just over 63 millimetres of rain. 

The Department of Transportation and Works said crews were out Tuesday repairing potholes and damage caused by the heavy rain.

The good news is there are brighter skies in the forecast for the end of the week, with a change in wind direction and a ridge of high pressure bringing an end to the rain, drizzle and fog by Thursday.

Crews are clearing debris around parts of St. John's Tuesday following heavy rain from the last few days. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Residents near Quidi Vidi Lake were questioning why it spilled its banks, given a new dam recently put in place.

St. John's deputy city manager Lynnann Winsor said the water-control measures are not to be used for rainfall.

"They're meant to do maintenance, if we need to do maintenance and stuff on the infrastructure down there," she said. "Or if we have a major hurricane coming, we have to opportunity then to lower the water level in Quidi Vidi Lake."

The city is also looking at other ways to slow the increased amount of runoff that makes its way into Quidi Vidi Lake due to increased development in the area, and the lake has a spillway to let the water out faster, she said.