|Top: Highway 20, one day after the July 14, 1987 storm, and still flooded. |
Bottom: The flooded Decarie Expressway northbound lanes.
(Photos: Montreal Gazette)
July 14, 1987: It was 25 years ago on Sunday that a series of strong thunderstorms swept across the Island of Montreal from south to north producing 100mm (4 inches) of rain in under 2 hours. The storms completely overwhelmed the municipal sewer systems flooding major roads and hundreds of homes. The Decarie Expressway flooded under several feet of water as did the St. Remi Tunnel, portions of Highway 20 and the Cote de Liesse highway. Not far from my Verdun home, in the suburb of LaSalle, power poles were leaning on a 45 degree angle, an indication of the powerful winds that accompanied the storms as they swept across the St. Lawrence River. The storm cut power to thousands for over 24 hours and generated nearly $200 million in damages. One fatality occurred when a motorist drowned in his vehicle in the Cote des Neiges district.
I was in Long Sault, Ontario at the time enjoying a camping trip, one of the few vacations I had at that time in my life. It would be the start for me of a stretch of missing all the big weather events in Montreal, that seems to continue today. I was also out of town when the big Ice Storm of 1998 hit and most recently the flooding thunderstorms this past May. It is either a sad irony for a weather geek, or God's way of protecting me!
|Trucks sit submerged on the Decarie northbound just past Jean Talon. |
After another record high on Saturday in Montreal at 33.3C, the city was a little cooler today at 31C (88F), however the humidity was quite high. We received about 11mm of much needed rain in an afternoon thunderstorm that swept the western portion of the city. The rain was accompanied by thunder and gusty winds. It remains cloudy still in the city and very humid with a muggy 24C at 9pm. Look for warm overnight lows tonight around 22C (72F) in Montreal, and another hot and humid day Monday pushing into the low 30's with high humidity readings. Despite the rain, water levels remain critical and outdoor fire bans and watering bans are in effect in most regions including here on L'Ile Perrot and across Vaudreuil/Soulanges County. There are at least 20 forest fires burning in the province and it remains very dry across the southern half of Quebec and into eastern Ontario.