The cities of Joliette and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu were particularly hard hit by the thunderstorms that swept across southern Quebec on Friday afternoon. The torrential rains led to the evacuation of a mall and sewer congestion.
Updated yesterday at 20:01.
In Joliette in Lanaudière, between 100 and 120 millimeters of rain fell on Friday afternoon, including 63 millimeters in one hour, says Environment Canada meteorologist Dominic Morin. On the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu side, in Montérégie, a hundred millimeters of rain were recorded, 70 of which fell in one hour.
By comparison, Montreal and other cities that passed a single shower series only got between 20 and 40 millimeters of rain.
Photos and videos of flooded streets, parking lots and basements quickly appeared on social networks. We see cars advancing with water up to the gates and parking lots that turn into a lake.
In Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Julie Chicoine’s family took the opportunity to paddle and trip in the street. The family has a pump system to eliminate the water damage – their basement was spared. This is not the case for everyone on the street, stresses Ms. Chicoine. “We took the opportunity to create beautiful memories for the children! ‘ she consoles herself.
On the Lanaudière side, the Galeries Joliette shopping center had to be evacuated, says Eric Champagne, who was there with his wife at the time.
“The water pushed back inland, it was a little all over the galleries,” he describes. We were evacuated and when we got outside there was 25 cm of water in the yard and more. »
People took off their shoes to go to their cars, reports Mr Champagne. Some vehicles had water in the engine and could not continue. The couple, who live in Saint-Damien, 45 kilometers to the north, managed to escape.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen it so intensely! calls he.
pressurized sewage systems
“The sewers are not able to absorb that much rain so quickly, which causes backlogs or accumulations on the streets,” explains Morin.
Police officers from the Sûreté du Québec had to intervene due to the water accumulation for parked vehicles, confirmed Camille Savoie, a police spokeswoman. In Saint-Paul, a municipality around Joliette, several vehicles got stuck in the water on the Boulevard des Industries.
Police were also called to intervene in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies and Crabtree, two communities around Joliette, because cars were unable to proceed, Ms Savoie adds.
“Several parts of the area were affected by the heavy rains this afternoon,” the city of Joliette said on its Facebook page. Our team is on site to intervene. We estimate 110mm of rain, including 90mm in less than two hours, which is exceptional! The municipal network should allow for quick resolution of most situations. Thank you for your cooperation. »
“We tried it this afternoon! “For its part, the city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu launched on Facebook. “We want to reassure you. The city’s entire staff is currently working to manage this impressive body of water. Our sewage system was exceptionally overloaded in a short period of time, but the situation is gradually improving. »
At the beginning of the evening, the water in Julie Chicoine’s street had receded, confirmed this to La Presse.
It’s still raining, but less
Mr Morin warns that showers are still expected in southern Quebec tonight and tomorrow.
Between 10 and 20 millimeters of additional rain is expected in the greater Montreal area. Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec can expect 20 to 30 millimeters including the showers already underway.
According to the meteorologist, showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue in the province on Saturday, but they will be less severe.