Rainstorm brings down trees, leaves thousands without power in Montreal
Provincial police warn of flooding on Quebec's road network
Heavy rain and high winds pummelled southern Quebec Thursday, bringing down trees and leaving thousands without power.
Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for much of southern Quebec. A total of between 50 and 80 millimetres was expected in the lower Laurentians, Montreal and the Monterégie by the end of the day.
The wind led to power outages in several regions, in particular Montreal and the Monterégie, resulting in the closure of some schools, as well as after-school programs.
On the island of Montreal, many residences and businesses in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce were still without power late Thursday afternoon.
Hydro-Québec said it had dispatched 600 workers to fix broken lines.
"We expect that the majority of affected customers will have electricity back by the end of the day," the public utility said in a statement. However, it said, where damage was more extensive and in more isolated locations, it could be Friday before power was restored.
Highway 20 partially closed due to flooding
A stretch of Highway 20 in Montreal was reduced to one lane near the Angrignon exit for several hours early Thursday afternoon because of water accumulation.
Authorities were forced to close the same section of highway after heavy rain earlier this month.
Transports Québec said at the time it plans to install new pumping equipment near the Turcot Interchange to prevent future flooding, but the new equipment won't be in place until next summer.
On Twitter, the Sûreté du Québec warned drivers the accumulated rain could lead to additional closures on the province's network of roads.
Leaves add to troubles
Ivan Dubé, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, also warned of possible flooding.
"Lots of leaves will be falling so that could obstruct some of the drainage, and that could intensify some of the water accumulation in urban areas," he said.
In places like Montreal, where flat roofs are common, leaves can block drains and cause water to back up, Dubé said.
It's always a good idea for homeowners to clear leaves and ensure drains are working properly, he said.
The flooding of homes due to heavy rains and backed-up drains is a common problem in Montreal.