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Heavy rain falls on Montreal, closing highways, knocking out power



Heavy rain falls on Montreal, closing highways, knocking out power

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A deluge of heavy rain due to remnants of tropical storm Beryl forced the closing of several highways in the Montreal area on Wednesday afternoon and knocked out power to thousands in the city.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said Wednesday evening the city had received 66 millimetres of rain, much of it falling between 1 and 3 p.m. ECCC meteorologists warned of flash floods and water pooling on roads, which caused havoc during the afternoon rush hour.

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The Décarie Expressway was closed in both directions as the trench filled with water. One video posted to social media showed water gushing out of a manhole cover like a geyser. The highway reopened around 4 p.m., with some cars trapped for hours. Highway 13 in Lachine was also closed for a few hours.

As of 6 p.m., Highway 40 was still closed eastbound between Highway 13 and Cavendish Blvd. The ramp from Highway 15 South to Highway 40 East in the Laurentian Interchange was also closed.

The Sûreté du Québec warned water accumulation was making driving difficult on highways.

At the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, dozens of flights were delayed or cancelled.

“At this time, there is no impact on the air side and the airport is operational. However, we do have some impacts to the city side in the parking (areas) and traffic around the airport,” said Anne Marcotte, a spokesperson for Aéroports de Montréal.

She noted there is always a “domino effect” during major weather events if there are delays at other airports.

Most power had been restored by 6:30 p.m., with only 392 customers still without power.

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Of the 8,000 Hydro-Québec clients who lost power, 3,100 of them were in the St-Laurent borough, when the electrical room of a high-rise on Marcel-Laurin Blvd. flooded. Power was cut shortly before 2:30 p.m. to much of the neighbourhood between Marcel-Laurin and Décarie Blvd. and between Côte-Vertu Blvd. and St-Louis St. while crews pumped water out of the electrical room, Hydro-Québec spokesperson Johanne Savard said. Power was restored at around 6:15 p.m.

The heavy rain across southern Quebec and eastern Ontario came as the remnants of tropical storm Beryl entered the region. The hurricane, which became a post-tropical cyclone, had caused severe weather in southeast Texas on Monday, killing at least four people there, flooding highways, causing power outages and more than 1,000 cancelled flights.

Showers are expected to continue through through Thursday and Friday, with temperatures in the high 20s through the weekend, when the sunshine is expected to return.

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