May 19, 2014 1:25 pm

Lac Saint-Jean water levels worrisome after heavy rainfall


SAGUENAY-LAC-SAINT-JEAN – Authorities are closely monitoring the rising water levels of Lac Saint-Jean after recent heavy rainfall combined with melting snow could flood the lake.

In the last two days, more than 30 millimeters of rain fell in the area, bringing water levels to 13.5 feet.

Authorities are expecting the lake to reach its maximum level of 16.9 feet by the end of the week.

Rio Tino Alcan (RTA) is working with the Quebec Provincial Police and Civil Security to minimize the potential impacts of the flood.

According to the RTA, workers are monitoring the situation on the ground every hour and are putting in place several preventative measures to control the water levels.

READ MORE: Flood alert in Sherbrooke now an evacuation order

“This is a much more complicated operation than we thought,” said Claudine Gagnon, a spokesperson for the RTA.

“There are several maneuvers to perform, representing more than 250 hours of work from all of our teams on the ground.”

READ MORE: Southern Ontario, Quebec on flood watch as heavy rain expected

The lake’s levels are continuing to rise despite efforts to redirect the water.

WATCH: Victims of devastating flooding fighting for ‘fair’ compensation in Quebec

The situation remains under control for now, but authorities are asking all residents to avoid the area.

“We have sizable rainfall coming,” said Gagnon.

“But we do not yet know how much rain we will receive. Weather conditions can change quickly. ”

READ MORE: Officials keep careful eye on wet weather in southern Quebec

Flooding this high in Lac Saint-Jean hasn’t been this intense since 1947.

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