Aug 30 2013

1996 Saguenay Canada Flood Footage

Google Streetview image of the "Little White House" left standing

For two days in July 1996, torrential rains pounded the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec and caused the worst flood in the province’s history. The floodwaters were so powerful they swept away a whole shopping complex, ripped apart homes and buried cars under mud. Scientists said it was a natural disaster likely to happen once every 10,000 years. The government called it “an act of God.” (CBC Archive)

In 1996, the Saguenay region of Quebec, Canada got hit with over a foot of rain within the 2 days of the rains. Reservoirs and dams were pushed to the brink as the floods rampaged local infrastructure. The video below tells the story of one little white house that was left behind as the river overtopped a location in Saguenay.

A flood, with the flow comparable to Niagara Falls, strikes a Canadian town and rips apart roads, bridges, and hillsides. Houses are swept away by the mind-blowing power of raging waters that reach up to 30 feet high. (From Discover Channel’s “Weather Rampage”) (YouTube)

The map below marks the location of the “little white house,” now a musuem in Quebec, Canada.

View Larger Map

This last longer clip is actual news footage from CBC about the flooding and evacuations at the time.

    • The amount of water that fell during the two-day torrential rains is equivalent to that which tumbles over Niagara Falls in four weeks.
    • In total, the disaster brought 280 millimetres of rain, along with violent thunderstorms.
    • The bulk of the rains fell between 8 a.m. on July 19 and 10 p.m. on July 20.
    • The region’s river, lakes and bays swelled above capacity and unprecedented flooding ensued.

I read quotes calling this a one in 10,000 year event but I could not verification or background information of that number. Canada’s river gages have been notoriously underfunded and I could not even find a current gage on this system.

Other Resources

Saguenay Flood (Wikipedia)

Saguenay Flood Forces Mass Evacuation (CBC)

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