The tourist office
Photo : Hydro-Québec

The tourist office located on
the side of Route 170 was
heavily damaged by the
force of the water.

The municipality of L'Anse-Saint-Jean was one of the hardest hit by the July 1996 floods. The rain started during the night of July 20th and all of the lakes, streams and rivers of the watershed were swollen. In all, 194 millimetres of rain fell on this 756-sq. km territory in 48 hours .

In the night of the 19th to the 20th of July, the population of L'Anse-Saint-Jean was cut off from the outside world. Without phone lines, electricity, fresh water and road access, a sense of real solidarity was developed among the population. They rapidly got to work and set up the infrastructures needed for the smooth running of the community's emergency operations.

The precipitation that fell on the Saint-Jean River watershed between July 19th and 20th 1996 wasn't at the same level on the whole territory. The strongest intensity was recorded in the northern part of the watershed.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street
Photo : Richard Girouard

The raging waters of the Saint-Jean River engulfed Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street,
which passes right in the heart of the village. Some fifty homes were destroyed,
bringing on the evacuation of 125 people for over 14 days.

The swollen Saint-Jean River cut off Route 170 on a distance of 1,1 kilometres.

The Saint-Jean River rate of flow simulations show that on the morning of July 20th 1996, 480 cu. Metres of water per second were passing through. If one considers that the rate of flow before the flood was of 25 cu. Metres per second, the volume of water was 19 times greater.

In L'Anse-Saint-Jean, the flood was amplified by the rupture of a beaver dam built downstream from Amable Lake and the Muraille Stream. The level of the lake was suddenly lowered. All that water gushed into the Muraille stream and caused the rupture of another series of beaver dams built downstream.

Quebec's daily newspapers
In some of the province of Quebec's daily newspapers, L'Anse-Saint-Jean's beavers were the subject matter of many articles.

The Murailles stream poured out into Du Coin Street, destroying 10 homes and closing down 6 businesses.