The City of Montreal has declared a state of emergency due to rising floodwaters in numerous boroughs.
The decree allows the city to order mandatory evacuations.
It also gives the fire department, tasked with co-ordinating flood relief efforts, more powers to spend money, requisition private property and take other measures to protect homes.
WATCH: Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante announced on Friday that they had declared a state of emergency in response to flooding in the region.
Mayor Valérie Plante made the announcement at a press conference in Pierrefonds Friday afternoon.
She said that while the situation remains stable in the affected boroughs, such as Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Île-Bizard and the Ahuntsic-Cartierville, water levels are expected to continue rising as unrelenting rain pounds the city.
“We are looking at the situation minute by minute, hour by hour and if there is an evacuation that is needed then we will be doing it,” Plante said.
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So far, there have been no forced evacuations in the city.
“Two years ago, with the same water flows, we had hundreds, over 400, flooded homes and hundreds of evacuations,” said fire Chief Bruno Lachance. “This year, we have 11 evacuations and about 50 flood-affected buildings.”
Lachance credits flood-prevention efforts and a quick-response time for the limited damage so far.
“Our dikes are completely adequate at the moment, but there’s no guarantee there won’t be a breach if the waters continue to rise,” he said.
WATCH: Ile-Bizard playing catch up amid flooding
Lachance explained the state of emergency is a preventative measure that will allow for more latitude, if the worst were to happen.
“If a dike were to fail, it could immediately flood 30, 40 or 50 homes,” he said. “Under those circumstances, we prefer declaring a preventive state of emergency which gives us more leeway to react quickly and take the necessary actions.”
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