Rigaud on alert for spring flooding

Click to play video: 'EXCLUSIVE: Rigaud officials watch water levels as spring thaw looms' EXCLUSIVE: Rigaud officials watch water levels as spring thaw looms
WATCH: The snow levels along Rigaud's flood plains are lower than in the previous two years and the town's officials are watching the situation closely. As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, some homeowners believe the town is restricting their ability to prevent spring flooding – Mar 20, 2018

The mayor of Rigaud is putting residents on notice.

Hans Gruenwald Jr. claims very little can be done to stop flood waters from coming if heavy rains fall and a fast snowmelt occurs.

“There is no way that one organization other than mother nature can control that,” Gruenwald Jr. told Global News.

Hundreds of homes are located near the Outaouais River’s banks. Most of them are in the flood zones.

READ MORE: Hydro-Quebec hopes for no major flooding this spring

Some properties now sit empty as houses had to be demolished due to damage caused by last year’s devastating floods.
The mayor is in no mood to allow landowners to rebuild.

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“We need to say to people, ‘Sorry, we’re not going to give you a building permit because that is a flood zone. You could get flooded out and then, we can’t have that,'” he said.

Yves Langlois is one of the residents who live near the river’s banks. Last year his home was flooded. This summer, he plans on moving out, but he has to get through the spring first.

“I’m worried the water will rise again,” he told Global News.

READ MORE: Quebec floods: Forum held on flooding while homeowners wait for cheques

A few kilometres away, near the Ontario border, is Hydro-Quebec’s Carillon electricity generating station and dam.

Many people heavily criticized the utility company last year for not shutting its gates to stop record levels of water from reaching greater Montreal.

But officials from Hydro-Quebec say they can only do so much to regulate water levels from a river that stretches more than 1,600 kilometres.

Pierre Moreau, minister of natural resources, agrees.

“What they can do they take very seriously and they’re doing their best,” Moreau told Global News.

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