Montreal

With heavy rain in the forecast, Quebec authorities monitoring waterways

Rain will begin Christmas Eve across southern Quebec and continue through Christmas Day, causing water levels to rise and possible flooding. By Boxing Day, temperatures will drop, and all that rain will turn to ice.

Spokesperson for province's civil security agency predicts minor flooding in some areas

It will be rainy and grey until Boxing Day across southern Quebec, including in Montreal. In areas north of the St. Lawrence River, heavy rainfall and some flooding is possible. (Submitted by Ariel Hinkson)

An intense weather system will bring warm temperatures and significant amounts of rain to parts of southern Quebec over the next two days, and civil security agencies will be monitoring water levels in the province's rivers.

Areas north of the St. Lawrence River, such as the Laurentians, Lanaudière, Mauricie and the Quebec City region could see between 40 to 70 millimetres of rain by late Friday into Saturday.

For places north of Quebec City, like the Charlevoix region, that number could be as high as 100 and maybe up to 150 millimetres of rain.

Jean Savard, assistant general manager of operations for Quebec's civil security agency, said the effect of the rain will be seen on smaller waterways tomorrow, and on larger ones on Boxing Day.

He expects there will be minor flooding, with water on roadways, and a possibility of landslides in some places where the rainfall will be heaviest.

Savard said with the quantity of water that is expected, the ice that has formed on rivers will break up, but there isn't enough to create the ice jams that are often seen in the spring.

Anyone who encounters fast-moving water or flooding should call their municipality or fire department, he said. But he recommends staying home for those who can do so.

"If you have to drive, be very careful."

Freezing over

It will rain for most of the day on Christmas, but it will be warm. By Boxing Day we'll be back to subzero temperatures — cold enough to turn water into ice.

"I don't think anybody wants to have to go to hospital because they fell on a sheet of ice, so be careful on the 26th, and  even on the 27th, as all that water [freezes]," said Environment Canada meteorologist Alexandre Parent.

There are benefits to the colder temperatures, however. They will slow the water flow, Savard said, which will allow waterways to get back to normal levels.

With files from Quebec AM

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