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How to prepare for the rainy 'weather bomb' about to hit Quebec

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2017-10-29 CBC/Radio-Canada
How to prepare for the rainy 'weather bomb' about to hit Quebec: A rapidly forming low pressure system is expected to hit Quebec over the weekend. (CBC)<br /> © CBC A rapidly forming low pressure system is expected to hit Quebec over the weekend. (CBC)

As a rapidly intensifying low pressure system often called a "weather bomb" heads up the East Coast over the next 24 hours, city crews in Montreal are clearing leaves to prevent potential flooding.

Experts say you should, too.

As much as 50 millimetres of rain could hit the area, starting Sunday evening, as the cyclogenesis passes through Montreal.

The storm will then head towards central and eastern Quebec, where even more rain is expected to fall. 

Street sweeper trucks of all sizes could be seen brushing Montreal's gutters Saturday and city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin says it's all part of an effort to minimize the risk of inundation.

What is a 'weather bomb'?

"We want to avoid the possibility of flooding," Sabourin told CBC News. "So, if we have many leaves on the street it will obstruct the sewer and the rain won't be drained promptly."

The term "weather bomb" is used because of how quickly this type of storm intensifies.

It picks up moisture as it travels — in this case, up the E ast Coast  from the Florida Keys — and "deepens" as it goes, meaning it gets more intense.

That's why regions north of Montreal could get more rain.

Heavy winds are also expected as part of the storm and Sabourin said city authorities, including the fire and police departments as well as city workers, will be at the ready to clean any debris. 

They'll be on watch for fallen construction signs and faulty street lights. 

The city is also asking motorists and pedestrians to be mindful of the rain as they move around Montreal. 

Avoiding water damage at home

John Piazza, the president of Groupe Res-Q, a Laval-based water damage restoration service, said he's called in extra staff in preparation for the rain. 

"We've secured a bit more machinery, including for drying, and we're on standby," he said. "So, we're waiting for the overflow of calls that we're expecting tomorrow."

But there are things you can do to avoid being one of those calls and minimize the potential for damage, Piazza said. 

The best place to start is by cleaning your gutters and roof drains.

Check your roof to see if there are any damaged shingles that could let water in, as well as any other spots where water could accumulate around your home. 

"If water doesn't evacuate properly, it basically accumulates, leaving a lot of chance for infiltration," Piazza explained. 

"Make sure you catch it beforehand, before the issue gets any worse. Take care of it at that point, at that moment."

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