Cleanup begins after powerful summer storm hits Montreal
In spite of its size, few people heard when a huge branch from a 30-year-old ash tree in Diane Gauthier’s front yard came crashing onto her roof.
“We didn’t hear a noise,” she told Global News as city workers used a crane to remove it. “When I opened the door I saw everything in front of the door.”
It happened during a storm Wednesday afternoon that charged through Pointe-Claire and the rest of Montreal. It was so powerful that even if some residents didn’t hear the falling trees they certainly heard everything else — including the wind and the heavy rain.
“It literally was coming off roofs the way snow would come off because there was so much of it coming down,” Johanna Klove said.
“It was twirling and twisting and pouring and pounding.”
The wind ripped off tree branches, damaged homes and up to 100,000 Hydro-Québec clients lost power on the island of Montreal.
“It was quite a spectacle,” Klove said.
According to Environment Canada the storm was part of a line of fast-moving thunderstorms that moved across the city from eastern Ontario. The wind gusts that caused the damage sometimes exceeded more than 100 km/hour.
“[It’s] what we call a gust front,” explained Alexandre Parent, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.
“That’s really the thinking here. Blowing just before the lines of thunderstorms itself and it lasted only five-10 minutes across the Montreal area.”
He was in Saint-Julien, located about hours south of Montreal, when a storm cell had developed into a tornado.
“It was categorized as an EF2 so winds from 180 kilometres to 220 kilometres per hour,” he explains.
One home was completely destroyed but there were no reported injuries.
Back in Pointe-Claire, Gauthier was luckier — her house barely had a scratch. Her neighbour further up on Inglewood Avenue in the Cedar Park area wasn’t so lucky.
“Sometimes something like this can happen couple of years in a row and sometimes you can have 10 years without anything,” she said.
Residents of this neighborhood say it’s best to just accept nature for what it is.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.