Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More rain, more flooding - our summer of discontent

A quick thinking employee from Bed Bath and Beyond, checks on a stranded motorist in Kingston, Ontario on Monday. (Photo via Twitter @YGKtraffic)
Low clouds, mist and a September-like chill prevail across southern Quebec this morning, as a nasty upper-level low slowly spins eastward. The storm produced torrential rain, strong winds and cold temperatures on Monday. The high in Montreal was a mere 20C (68F), reached in the wee hours of the morning. Most of the day was spent in the middle teens as temperatures fell with the onset of heavy rain. The real story with this system was the rainfall. Trudeau Airport measured 17.8mm, but amounts rose quickly as you headed west down the 401. Here on L'Ile Perrot, I recorded 28.8mm, with 32mm at St. Anicet. In Ontario, Kingston reported 102.2mm, Brockville 102mm, Ottawa 79mm and Kemptville, 71.3mm. There were isolated reports of as much as 150mm in some locations along the Thousand Islands Parkway, and north of Kingston. Conditions were the same south of the St Lawrence River in upstate New York. Flood warnings were in effect for St. Lawrence County, New York, where upwards of 4 to 6 inches of rain fell.

Widespread flooding was observed, with several road closures across eastern Ontario. Numerous accidents were reported along area highways, including Autoroute 20, west of Montreal near Coteau du Lac. Highway 2 was closed near Johnstown, Ontario due to several metres of water covering the roadway near the rail bridge. Isolated power outages also occurred, with as many as 8000 Hydro Quebec customers without power Monday afternoon. That number is down to 1000 as of Tuesday morning.

Flood warnings and watches have been posted for several watersheds in Ontario as a result of rapid runoff. Water levels on the Kemptville Creek and Rideau River basin will be running well above normal for the next few days. All this water will be rushing down the St. Lawrence River towards Montreal over the next week. All waterways across southern Quebec and eastern Ontario remain dangerous for any activities, and vigilance is strongly encouraged.

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