Quebecers in California are witnessing the impact of climate change

Quebecers in California are witnessing the impact of climate change

Quebecers who have lived in California for several years are noticing that climate change is happening with increasing frequency and intensity, such as the torrential rains of recent weeks.

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“Two days ago my yard was a river, I couldn’t take the dog with me because there was so much water,” says Nelly Pereira of Sacramento, a two-hour drive from the bay.

La Lavalloise moved to the region five years ago for love. She had never seen so much water in this American state known for its drought.

“On my street, the cars were halfway under water, people couldn’t get out of the house. People kayaked. It was intense,” says the man, who works from home as a sports coach.

This creek near San Jose is usually just a trickle.

Photo courtesy of Christian Plante

This creek near San Jose is usually just a trickle.

Windier than before

The back-to-back storms and downpours have claimed 19 lives and caused flooding in several locations in the United States’ most populous state.

“It’s been raining every day for four weeks,” says Lisane Drouin discouraged

The West Montreal occupational therapist has lived in Silicon Valley for over 25 years. She says she and her patients have seen temperatures change in as many years.

“It’s a lot windier than before. We’re having increasingly violent winds and that’s what I call it with the torrential rains we’ve had, California’s fifth season,” the health worker explains.

She lists in English the four typical seasons that Californians describe: earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, and droughts.

From one extreme to the other

“These are very short seasons. You can also say there is summer and winter,” jokes Christian Plante, who lives in San Jose. He moved from Quebec in 2000 to work in electronics and also sees the impact of climate change.

For more than 20 years in San Jose, Christian Plante has noticed that summer heat waves become more intense.

Photo courtesy of Christian Plante

For more than 20 years in San Jose, Christian Plante has noticed that summer heat waves become more intense.

“When we arrived, it was 40 degrees for weeks, we had a few a year, now it’s several weeks before it gets uncomfortable,” says the fifty-year-old.

He adds that in the summer of 2020, the heatwaves were so severe that the air was “musty” for weeks because of the wildfires.

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