Quebec authorities on high alert as water levels continue to rise
Quebec authorities are keeping an eye on rivers across the province as water levels are expected to peak Wednesday.
In Rigaud, about 80 kilometres west of Montreal, the Bas-de-la-Rivière Road is so damaged by floodwaters that is no longer safe to use. Officials say residents living on the other side of the road are now completely isolated from the rest of the city.
The city says those residents now have to choose whether to leave by boat or to stay home, knowing it is no longer possible to return to the other side.
Shoreline residents in Île-Perrot, just off the western tip of Montreal, are also advised to prepare for a possible evacuation order.
Urgence Quebec reports that nearly 2,500 homes are flooded and 972 residents have been forced to leave their homes as of Wednesday evening. More than 2,000 homes are also isolated due to washed out roads and landslides.
Water levels throughout the Gatineau-Montreal-Trois-Rivières corridor will continue to rise higher than expected — and it will take a long time to come down.
Massive spring flooding has hit several areas in Quebec, including parts of Montreal, Laval, Sainte-Marie, Outaouais and Gatineau.
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The Canadian Army sent hundreds of troops to the province to help with flood relief, including packing sandbags and assisting those affected by floodwaters.
Quebecers in flood zones are asked to be on high alert and to listen to local authorities should they need to leave their homes. Shoreline residents should also prepare a 72-hour emergency kit in case of flooding.
With rain in the forecast, authorities warn water levels could continue to climb in trouble spots — which could threaten more homes and businesses across the province.
Urgence Quebec says residents affected by flooding should contact their local officials to ensure tap water is safe to drink.
As a preventative measure, the Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève borough is advising residents living on Île Mercier and in Parc Wilson’s mobile homes to avoid drinking tap water until further notice. A boil water advisory was issued on Wednesday afternoon for residents living on the following streets: Paquin, Roy, Monique, Sacré-Coeur, Jean-Yves.
Montreal, Laval monitoring water levels
In Montreal, authorities remain on high alert with more rain on the way. As of Wednesday afternoon, Urgence Quebec says flooding has hit 25 homes and isolated nearly 50 residences.
“I don’t want to be a pessimist, but there will be flooding,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. “Houses will be flooded. With the precipitation and the weather outside, it is not helping.
“That being said, and I’ve said it in the last few days, we’ve been working really hard to prepare.”
The evolving situation has forced several road closures on the island and the bridge to Île Mercier is off-limits until further notice. A real-time map of street closures can be found online.
In Montreal’s West Island, several residents and businesses are also scrambling to protect their homes and properties. Some of the hardest hit areas, including Pierrefonds-Roxboro, say there is an urgent need for volunteers to help fill sandbags.
On Île Bizard, the army and city workers are out in full force to reinforce dykes. Snowblowers are also being used to push water back from homes.
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“We can’t know exactly what will happen but the predication is there will more rain and maybe it will peak on Friday,” said Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève Mayor Normand Marinacci.
The City of Laval says it is monitoring water levels in the Rivière des Prairies and Rivière Mille Îles. Officials say residents should avoid flooded streets since the waves created by cars lead to more flooding in homes.
— With files from Global News’ Rachel Lau, Anne Leclair, Dan Spector and The Canadian Press
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