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Taking a look back at the major storms that flooded over 5,000 Quebec homes

Thursday, April 7th 2022, 4:32 am - On this day in weather history, low-pressure systems led to heavy flooding in Quebec and Ontario.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


Quebec is used to storms that are packed with snow and ice. When spring comes along, that frozen water melts. That's normal. April 2017 wasn't a normal year for the province.

In 2017, there was a major North American blizzard that added another 70 cm of snow to the Saint Lawrence River Valley. Then spring hit, along with generous amounts of rain. Montreal received 156 mm of rain in April, which is twice its monthly average.

All of the extra water had to go somewhere, and so it ended up in 5,371 homes. Montreal and Laval declared a state of emergency as people were forced to evacuate their flooded residences.

The Saint-Maurice River overflowed, causing flooding of Quebec Route 155. The highway was closed for over a week.

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The Ottawa River also surpassed its capacity, flooding main highways. Both the federal and provincial governments closed their offices in Gatineau so their employees wouldn't have to risk the commute.

In Gatineau, the fire department rescued and evacuated around 533 people from their homes. The Red Cross provided shelter for 1,000 people in the area.

The Canadian military dispatched 2,200 troops to Quebec and sent military boats, helicopters, armoured vehicles and other resources to support those impacted by the floods.

Areas of Ontario flooded, as well. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton received 72.4 mm of rain in 12 hours, more than the city's monthly average.

To learn more about the 2017 floods in Quebec and Ontario, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: 2017 Quebec Flood. Courtesy of Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0

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