Flood in Montreal sweeps student down street
Published Monday, January 28, 2013 6:24PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 28, 2013 10:54PM EST
A water main break that flooded major parts of downtown Montreal, including McGill University, has been largely contained.
The break, which began around rush hour near McGill, paralyzed sections of the city as water flooded through the city and pedestrians struggled to navigate the slippery streets.
One student who dared to cross a flooded street got swept up by the waters and proceeded to slide down the road. A witness captured the moment and uploaded it to YouTube.
The flood caused a number of road closures, including two major city streets: Rene-Levesque Boulevard and Sherbrooke Street. Police rerouted traffic as the flood waters made the streets extremely slippery.
It also caused McGill to cancel its evening classes.
The flood was caused by a 90-centimetre water main that broke at a construction site close to the city’s core, officials said. The city said the flood had no effect on water quality.
The break was contained by mid-evening and crews were working to clear the water.
However, the city may face a new problem come Tuesday morning: ice buildup.
“It’s going to be a mess when this all freezes,” resident Philippe Whitford said.
By Monday night, parts of Ste-Catherine Street were covered with a slippery film that could turn to ice.
After surveying the cleanup operations, Mayor Michael Applebaum said most of the damage occurred below street level, including underground parking complexes.
Water had to be pumped out of the Place Ville Marie downtown office complex, he said.
As the cleanup efforts began, firemen were seen stabbing at drain openings with poles to create a passage for water to enter.
As well, large road graders moved through the city, in an attempt to disperse the water.
As of 7 p.m., two minor injuries were reported related to people slipping.
With files from The Canadian Press