Thursday, June 30, 2016

Edmundston gets 60 mm of rain in under an hour

Thunderstorms flood streets and basements

By Jordan Gill, CBC News Posted: Jun 30, 2016 11:57 AM AT Last Updated: Jun 30, 2016 3:32 PM AT
 
Edmundston is cleaning up after 72 millimetres of rain fell yesterday, with 60 millimetres falling in under an hour early Wednesday evening.

That amount is equal to 75 per cent of the typical total monthly rainfall for June in the area.

Roads and basements flooded, mostly in the northeastern area of the city. Approximately 50 homes were damaged by the water, but that number may change.

Jacques Thibault lives in a house that was damaged by the flooding. He said he had at least 12 centimetres of water in his basement Wednesday. He lives at the bottom of a hill, and thinks that contributed.

"So you could imagine that with the volume of water coming down all the streets up where I live, coming down the hill where I am, that it was like a river," said Thibault.
 
Thibault said this has been an ongoing problem in his neighbourhood for several years.

"We have seen heavy falls like this, but (even if) it only last for about 15-20 minutes, the water still rises up," said Thibault.

Official cost figures have not yet been released by the city.

"It's very hard to give a number regarding [the cost], but we have a mandate to go in that direction and monitor that expense," said Paul Dionne, the city's public works director.

Dionne said it will take some time to crunch the numbers, but said the public can help.

"Right now we're assessing the damage, and that's why we're asking citizens that were impacted by this to call," said Dionne.

It wasn't only private property that was damaged by the flooding, as city infrastructure took a beating as well.

Dionne said they are taking a proactive approach to evaluating damage to public infrastructure.

"We're actually in the field. It may not be apparent when you drive by on the street [what damage there is]," he said.

"You might have some manholes or underground infrastructure that were impacted by silt and gravel that entered the system that will need to be cleaned out," said Dionne.

A video posted to Facebook shows cars and trucks navigating up a hill on Mgr. Dionne Avenue with torrents of water pushing against them.‚Äč

The city is asking any residents who have had property damaged by the flooding to register with them by calling 506-739-2103.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated that 72 millimetres of rain fell in 45 minutes. 72 millimetres was the daily total, 60 millimetres fell in under an hour.
    Jun 30, 2016 3:15 PM AT

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