One person missing after Irene slams into Quebec, Maritimes
CTV News.ca Staff
Published Monday, August 29, 2011 11:01PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 5:48AM EDT
One person is missing in Quebec after the remnants of Hurricane Irene brought powerful winds and heavy flooding to the province and parts of the Maritimes on Monday.
The 400 kilometre-wide post-tropical storm dumped more than100 millimetres of rain on parts of Quebec and New Brunswick and toppled trees with winds gusting as high as 113 kilometres an hour on Monday.
The storm is being blamed for a landslide in Quebec that swallowed two cars and sent a chunk of roadway into the Yamaska River, about 100 km northeast of Montreal, on Monday.
One person is still missing after the landslide. The driver of the one vehicle managed to scramble to safety, as did one of the two occupants of the second car, police spokesperson, Benoit Richard said.
"The passenger managed to get out of the vehicle, but not the driver," Richard told The Canadian Press.
Forecasters expect heavy winds to continue Monday and a wind warning is in effect for the Maritimes and southern Quebec.
"It's still quite a large system," Linda Libby, a meteorologist with Environment Canada told The Canadian Press. "Here in the Maritimes, for the most part, it's mainly now a wind event."
Public security officials said that around 350 people had been forced from their homes in Quebec and hadn't returned by Monday afternoon.
As of early Monday the system was located about 70 km west-northwest of Edmunston, N.B. with maximum sustained winds of 95 km/h.
The system was heading northeast at a speed of 45 km/h and wind warnings were in place for Nova Scotia, all but extreme northwest New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and parts of southern Quebec, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said in a statement Monday morning. Winds could gust up to 100 km/h, the centre warned.
The wind led to restrictions on the Confederation Bridge, linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, for certain vehicles. Flights were also cancelled at the airport in Moncton, N.B. and there were delays on Monday reported at Halifax's Stanfield International Airport.
The strongest winds were felt just east of Quebec City on Ile d'Orleans, where gusts up to 113 km were reported, said Environment Canada.
Wind warnings for Newfoundland and Labrador that were issued early Monday were dropped by midmorning.
Forecasters called for higher than normal water levels and heavy pounding surf along the Fundy coast of New Brunswick and the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Environment Canada reported six-metre waves over western Maritime waters.
In Charlevoix region in Quebec and in the Appalachians, a peak of 140 millimetres of rain was reported and L'Islet in the Montmagny region 170 millimetres of rain fell.
In Sherbrooke, Que. 107 millimetres of rain had already fallen and in Doaktown, N.B., 89 mm of rain was reported, according to Environment Canada.
In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on Monday morning -- ahead of Irene's arrival -- tens of thousands of people woke up without power. On Sunday, 250-000 Hydro-Quebec residents were without power but by Monday afternoon, all but 80,000 of the residents had electricity restored.
Hydro-Quebec said most of the outages in that province were in the Montreal area as the fringes of the storm brought heavy rain and gusts to the region.
In Saint-Jean-Sur-Richilieu, Que., residents are relying on generators and have been told power may be on late Monday night. Many residents' basements flooded as well.
CTV's John Vennavally-Rao, reporting from Saint John, N.B., said the city was littered with fallen trees and power lines and many people were without electricity, due to heavy winds.
"There have been some other inconveniences -- ferry runs this morning have been cancelled, certain types of vehicles, high-sided vehicles can't cross the Confederation Bridge this morning because of the heavy winds and there have also been some flight cancellations as well," he told CTV's Canada AM.
Jean-Marc Couturier of the Canadian Hurricane Centre said the storm is expected to exit into the Labrador Sea, east of Newfoundland, in the next 24 hours.
He told CTV's Canada AM the system was "exceptionally large" and powerful.
"It was a very large system. It covered a lot of ground, a lot of territory and it was quite powerful as well, very low pressures at the centre of the storm itself and that is the reason why we experienced such great winds on the outskirts of the storm," Couturier said.
A tropical storm warning was lifted early Monday for parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. However, forecasters warned the system was still capable of delivering dangerous storm surges to some coastal areas.
"Higher than normal water levels and heavy pounding surf are expected for the Bay of Fundy near high tide near noon today, for the St. Lawrence River early this morning, and for the Northeastern Gulf of St. Lawrence tonight," said the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
Only the southwestern corner of Newfoundland and Labrador was under a weather warning Monday morning. Wind warnings were in place in Channel-Port aux Basques-Burgeo and St. George's.
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV Montreal's Kevin Gallagher