City of Rigaud on flood alert

Click to play video: 'Flood watch in Rigaud after heavy rainfall'
Flood watch in Rigaud after heavy rainfall
WATCH: A flood warning is in place in Rigaud after heavy rainfall quickly increased the water levels of the Rivière des Outaouais. As Global’s Navneet Pall reports, Rigaud is not the only community fighting rising water levels – Apr 7, 2017

The City of Rigaud is on flood alert after this week’s heavy rainfall.

The situation is especially serious around Chemin de la Grande Ligne.

The city’s public safety coordinator, Eric Martel, and area firefighters have been going door-to-door to remind residents who live close to the Rigaud River embankment to take precautions.

“We’re trying to motivate people and to say, ‘Keep it up, do what you have to do,'” Martel said. “The city is doing its part, but you have to your part as well.”

The city says it expects 6300 cubic meters of rain will have fallen by the end of the week, and is expecting 4,800 cubic metres alone today.

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The city is located on the Rigaud River, which is fed by the Ottawa river.

That means Rigaud is squarely in a flood zone, but the extra rain isn’t helping.

“[Flooding] might not be over after [that], so we might get a longer period of flood,” Martel said.

To prepare, residents living by the water are encouraged to stock up on sandbags, but Martel emphasizes the importance of encasing them in plastic covers, which prevents water from seeping through.

Despite all the precautionary measures, Martel notes at least residents have had time to prepare.

“A flood is something that is gradual — it’s not something that happens just like that, so you [can usually] see it coming,” Martel said.
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Meanwhile, in Montreal, city officials are watching three hotspots: Pierrefonds, Ste-Geneviece and Ile Bizard, and Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

City spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said flood precautions are taken by adding floodwater gates to prevent the Prairie River from overflowing.

“Even if the water level is elevated, the risk is limited,” Sabourin said.”The water gates prevent flooding for now.”

Though the rain is expected to stop sometime on Saturday, there is still a strong risk of further flooding along riverbanks throughout the region.

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