Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike Making Its Mark Here

From The Montreal Gazette:

After causing billions of dollars in damage in Texas, the remnants of Hurricane Ike were expected to hit Quebec overnight last night and into the morning.

Environment Canada issued a heavy rainfall warning for many parts of the province.

The areas north of the St. Lawrence River, from the Ontario border to the area north of Quebec City, were predicted to get the brunt of the impact and see between 50 and 80 millimetres of rain, said Jean-Pierre Bazinet, a spokesperson for Quebec's public security department.

"We're monitoring the situation very closely," Bazinet said. "We won't know the full impact probably until (this afternoon). The good thing is that we have some room in our rivers, so they may avoid overflowing."

Bazinet said his department is also worried about the potential for landslides.

"The weather has been good the last two weeks, so the soil is dry," he said. "But it may not be able to absorb all the moisture. We'll be crossing our fingers."

Environment Canada meteorologist René Héroux said flooding will depend on whether the rain falls in a short spurt or over a longer period of time.

"We are expecting periods where it is going to be very heavy," he said.

Héroux said the Montreal region will be spared the worst of the storm, with less than 20 millimetres of rain forecast.

By the afternoon, most of the storm will have moved on to Labrador.

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