Quebec premier tours flood-stricken Laval as more troops deployed
Flood operations are in full swing in communities across Quebec as water levels in many regions continue to rise.
Around 200 soldiers with the Canadian Armed Forces were dispatched to the Outaouais and Mauricie regions to help fill sandbags and carry out evacuations where necessary.
Another 400 troops were deployed Sunday afternoon in both regions and also in Laval.
Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault thanked the Armed Forces for the quick response.
Premier François Legault was in Laval on Sunday afternoon to be briefed on the situation. He also lent his support to volunteers working to prevent flood damage and surveyed affected areas on Île Bigras off the southeast edge of Laval.
On the island, around 30 soldiers were stacking sandbags on Chemin de la Tour in a bid to reinforce a concrete barrier metres away from the river.
Public affairs officer Pierre Leblanc said the army’s priority would be filling and stacking sandbags and protecting critical infrastructure near the river, which he said was rising about one centimetre each hour.
WATCH: Île Mercier family fights to save home from floodwaters
As of 9 a.m. on Sunday, Urgence Québec said 980 homes across the province had been flooded, around 382 homes were cut off by floodwaters and 1,264 people had evacuated their residences.
By 1:30 p.m., those numbers had increased across the board. The number of flooded homes jumped to 1,280, while isolated homes were at 594 with over 1,400 evacuees.
One of the hardest hit areas is the Chaudière-Appalaches region with the number of evacuations reaching 855. In Beauceville and Ste-Marie, 868 homes have been swamped.
WATCH: Road washed out by floodwaters in Quebec town
The rising waters have been blamed for one death. On Saturday, a 72-year-old woman died after driving her car into a sinkhole caused by flooding in the Pontiac area, near Ottawa.
Several roads are closed due to the floodwaters. Authorities are asking motorists to consult the Quebec 511 site to stay abreast of developments.
In Gatineau, curious residents have been asked to stay away from flooded streets so as to not impede flood relief efforts.
WATCH: Flood preparation in Rigaud and Île-Bizard
The same directive is being repeated in flood-stricken zones across the province.
In and around Montreal, certain areas are now off-limits to non-residents.
Such is the case in Île Mercier and Île Bizard.
In the borough of Pierrefonds, several roads have been closed including:
- Access to René-Émard Street in the south direction
- St-Jean Boulevard between Pierrefonds and Gouin West boulevards
- Lalande Boulevard between Rose and Edward streets
- Chemin de l’Anse à l’Orme between Gouin Boulevard/Chemin Senneville and Timberlea-Trail
- Chemin de la Rive-Boisée, between street addresses 420 and 530
- Gouin West Boulevard between Aumais and René-Émard Streets
A real-time map of street closures on the island of Montreal can also be found online.
The borough is actively searching for volunteers to help fill sandbags. Anyone wanting to lend a helping hand is being asked to head to Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School located at 13800 Pierrefonds Blvd.
“We need volunteers to bag,” said borough mayor Jim Beis on a Facebook live video.
“We need folks with trucks, we need pickups, trailers or whatever you might have that you could go to some of the areas that are highly affected and in need of supplementing the bags that we’ve already distributed.”
Volunteers are being asked to bring their own shovels.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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