The Gaspé Highway – Where Disaster Often Strikes
Big storm of December 6, 1949, that damaged eleven houses, Route 6, between Cap-Chat and Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Gaspé-Nord County, 1949
Ministère de la Culture et des Communications Fonds
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
The Gaspé highway has been the victim of natural disasters ever since it was built. The first disaster to affect the new road occurred in July, 1930 when Le Progrès du Golfe reported that a great storm had washed away part of the highway. Multiple events have occurred since, causing emergency response teams to be mobilized, road closures, detours and occasional loss of life.
Road crews are routinely despatched to repair or close roads when the highway around the peninsula is damaged by washouts, rockslides or flooding. Climate change and the sometimes violent storm surges of the St. Lawrence has made shoreline erosion a new fact of life. Massive amounts of money have been invested in recent decades to rebuild or reinforce the roadbed; on occasion the highway has had to be moved entirely to protect it from being washed away.