Monday, January 28, 2013


There is another (!!!!!) flood currently on McTavish Street in Downtown Montreal. Here's a vid. The river has been flowing with this volume and velocity for over 45 minutes (two hours!!!!) at this update.


Ever-entertaining emails from the McGill Media Relations Office are flooding my inbox.

Please be advised that there is severe flooding on the downtown campus that originated near the McTavish reservoir. This is a serious situation. A number of buildings have been flooded. If you are still in a main floor or basement area (I AM!!!!), please move computers, documents, etc. as high as you can and get yourself to safety. If you have already been flooded out, do not return to the office area. We are trying to assess damage as best we can, but it will be extensive. We will provide more information as it becomes available. Messages will be posted soon on the McGill website, and you will be told where to look for more information. Your personal safety is of the greatest importance. Please be careful and do not take any unnecessary risks.

Please note that all evening classes on the downtown campus have been cancelled for tonight because of the severe flooding on the campus. Please stay tuned to for updates this evening or tomorrow concerning tomorrow's classes. Please note as well that roadways on campus and surrounding the campus are dangerous. Please use extreme caution if you are trying to cross a street.

The City of Montreal has told us they hope to have the flow of water shut off within the hour. For the moment, the flooded area extends from Dr. Penfield Ave. to Ste. Catherine St. and from University St. to Peel St. Traffic has been severely restricted in that area. For future updates, please visit where will will post messages as information becomes available. We would like to remind you to please use extreme caution in making your way around the campus or in trying to leave the area. It is slippery underfoot and water continues to flow forcefully along several roadways on campus.

You can't make this stuff up... "student swept away by flooding..."


To quote eye-witness, U2 Sociology student Kinsey Brockie, "So many guys were carrying girls in Uggs and leather boots. Like... If you didn't have someone to carry you home, there went your $300 pair of leather boots!" Thankfully she had her Hunters! 

Crossing the street.

Four blocks away.

The current state of the McGill website - a never-before-seen yellow banner.


The City of Montreal has shut off the water to a 48-inch diameter water main, while a smaller pipe continues to leak. This water is being diverted into the sewer system and poses no current threat to our buildings.

The University has suffered some damage as a result of this afternoon's flooding downtown, but we will operate largely as normal tomorrow. McGill staff should report for work in the morning as usual, with the following exceptions: staff who work in the Wong Engineering Building, Service Point and Welcome Centre, the James Building Annex and on the 2nd floor of the James Administration Building are asked to stay home and work from home to the extent they can. [...]

There are problems with elevators in a number of buildings. Do not assume the elevators will be working in your building. [...]

We again urge you to be extremely careful when walking through areas both on and off campus that were affected by the flood. While we will be active overnight in spreading abrasives and salt, there may be many places where conditions will be slippery.

Thank you for your understanding.



My inbox.

The emails keep coming...

The City of Montreal managed to stop the flow of water from the site of the original water main leak at 2 a.m. this morning (TWO DAYS LATER). This means clean-up and work crews can now tackle the tasks that remain at the James Administration, Wong and Birks Buildings and Wilson Hall, as well as the areas outside these building that need to be cleaned up and made safe.


Again, please be careful walking around the campus (and off) because there are still slippery spots following Monday's flood.

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