Floods 2020: What is the situation?

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PLEASE NOTE: This guide was originally written in French. If you are using the English version of our site, you will see an automatic translation. You can change the language from the menu in the site header or see our English language guides here.

Every spring, the floods make many citizens live agonizing hours. Let's see why these natural phenomena can have important consequences on various aspects of our society.
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The year 2019 broke all records in terms of flooding in Quebec. Some residents, who were still in the reconstruction of 2017 (another difficult year for the floods), had again been hit hard by the spring floods. It was the municipality of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac that made the headlines most often, with half of the evacuees coming from this city. Of the 10,386 people evacuated, 5,506 came from Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, which was severely affected following the rupture of a natural dike, thus allowing the Lac des Deux Montagnes to flow into the streets. You can watch this video which shows, in time-lapse, the rising waters in the heart of the city.

“The water rose so quickly on Saturday night in an area of about fifty streets that cars could be seen completely submerged on Sunday morning. The water even reached the windows on the ground floor in some places. There have been rescues in extremis, recognized Sergeant Thibaudeau, without going into details. "

Source: Le Droit, April 28, 2019

2017 and 2019 will remain etched in the memory of many citizens of Quebec. Are we seeing a trend that will happen more and more often? You can watch this video which shows the points of comparison between these two years.

What about 2020 now? Thanks to the weather conditions at the start of spring - spaced episodes of rain, hasty heat and interspersed with a drop in temperature below 0 ° C - the floods are taking place more discreetly this year. Everything indicates that Quebec would be spared from strong floods as the province witnessed in 2017 and 2019. In this regard, this article from Météo Média outlines all of the natural protective factors that are in place this year that reduce the risk of major flooding.

Even if Quebec is relatively spared in 2020, this is not the case everywhere in Canada. In Fort McMurray (in northern Alberta), for example, 13,000 people had to be evacuated after an ice jam of several tens of kilometers on the Athabasca and Clearwaters rivers caused major flooding.

“Fort McMurray has experienced floods and ice packets before, but this is a flood that occurs once every 100 years. "

Journal of Montreal
Source: Journal de Montreal

Already heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and unemployment linked to the drastic drop in the value of a barrel of oil, Fort McMurray is more often than in turn grappling with great challenges to overcome:

“This city has faced so many challenges in recent years, whether one thinks of fires or years of economic hardship, and the current coronavirus pandemic […]. I am here on behalf of all Albertans to show our solidarity, Kenney continued, pledging to provide all the resources necessary to enable Fort McMurray to cope with the flooding. "

Journal of Montreal

Your challenge

Do you know where Fort McMurray is on a map of Canada? Do a web search to help you locate this city. Then test your knowledge of the different provinces and capitals of Canada across this quiz. So what's your score out of 15? Do you know enough about Canada to your liking?


Disciplines and levels targeted

  • Geography (lower secondary school)
    • Urban territory (city subject to natural risks)
  • French
    • Write a variety of texts

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Producing content with digital
  • Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning
  • Developing and mobilizing information literacy
  • Communicating via digital technology

Suggested digital tools

  • Google earth
  • RWT Timeline
  • Blogger or Wix

Educational intention of the guide

The following activities will allow students to develop their knowledge related to the study of a city (and a province) subject to natural hazards.

Objectives of the activities

  • Explore Fort McMurray with Google Earth and take a closer look at its development.
  • Create a timeline that identifies the various floods that Quebec experienced during the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Respond, with a blog post, to the stories of some citizens who have experienced the floods.
  • Learn about the 1996 flood in the Saguenay and understand the extent of natural disasters in Quebec.

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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