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Powerful storms soak southern Quebec


Staff writers

May 29, 2012 — On Tuesday, severe thunderstorms with heavy rains and large hail caused flash flooding in southern Quebec.

The floods caused traffic delays in downtown Montreal
The floods caused traffic delays in downtown Montreal

Flash flooding caused a headache across southern Quebec Tuesday.

A heavy line of storms began moving across the region in the late afternoon hours, bringing lightning and rain.

Walnut-sized hail was reported in both south-eastern Ontario and southern Quebec, and callers to the Stormline reported multiple downed trees in the Ottawa area.

"These storms reached as far as Vermont, which is very rare," says Elena Lappo, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Tornado warnings were issued there."

At 5:00 p.m. local time, radars showed signs of a tornado north of Hemmingford, Quebec. All tornado warnings were shortly dropped -- but there will be rumbles of thunder throughout the evening.

Shopping malls, roadways and schools in and around Montreal became inundated, leading to cancellations and traffic blocks. The city had at one point over 30 mm of rain in one hour and 28,000 homes in the area lost power.

Driving through the downtown core proved to be a challenge with 300 mm of water built up in deep puddles in some parts. 

Cars drives through a flooded Montreal street
Cars drives through a flooded Montreal street

In low-lying neighbourhoods the water rose high enough for people to swim in the street. 

The orange metro line was forced to close temporarily while rail services on the Saint-Hilaire line were delayed for nearly thirty minutes as water crept up the tracks.

On Wednesday morning multiple schools were closed due to flooding and water damage. 

Visit the Alerts section of the website to keep on top of watches and warnings across the country. 

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