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Heavy rainfall leads to flooding, sewer backups in Greater Montreal area

Click to play video: 'Cleanup underway after heavy rain strikes Montreal'
Cleanup underway after heavy rain strikes Montreal
WATCH: A downpour led to street closures and flooded homes in the Greater Montreal area. As Global's Olivia O'Malley reports, meteorologists say the heavy rainfall was exceptional. – Sep 14, 2022

Relentless bouts of heavy rainfall led to flooded streets and inundated houses in the Greater Montreal area after more than 100 millimetres of rain fell in parts of the province Tuesday.

Environment Canada confirmed early Wednesday that anywhere between 80 and 110 millimetres hit the city due to a major weather system. The region faced flooding, significant water pooling on roads and sewer backups were reported.

Frédéric Boulay, a meteorologist with the weather agency, said the downpour was “very localized” over downtown and eastern parts of Montreal.

Read more: Quebec election: mayors want $2 billion a year to fight climate change

“Two thunderstorms converged yesterday around 5 in the evening and so that’s when the rain started,” he said Wednesday. “And so we got about 50 millimetres in one hour and 80 millimetres in two hours.”

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The rain led to a tricky commute for those taking public transit in the city, where water accumulated in some Metro stations. The Société de Transport de Montréal (STM), the city’s transit agency, was forced to close off the Square-Victoria-OACI station due to water infiltration.

The heavy rain also led to some road and highway closures in Montreal. Highway 19 was partially off limits to drivers heading north as water accumulated, according to Transports Quebec.

Philippe Sabourin, a spokesperson for the city, said workers were sent to shut down underpasses where flooding occurred in order to prevent road accidents.

“When there is heavy rain in Montreal we know exactly where to send our crews. We know the lowest point of the city where the flooding will come when we get heavy rain,” he said.

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The downpour also led to about 1,400 different calls from citizens, he added, for a range of rain-related problems, such as sewers backing up. Anyone whose property or home was damaged by rainwater has 15 days to file a claim with the city.

“Our agents at the call centre were very busy yesterday,” Sabourin said.

Meanwhile, parts of Montreal’s south shore faced the worst of the storm. The City of Longueuil received up to 125 millimetres of precipitation, as reported by Environment Canada. The police department had to ask residents to avoid parts of St-Charles Boulevard as water pooled on the road.

The weather agency says showers will continue for parts of central and eastern Quebec on Wednesday.

with files from The Canadian Press

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