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Montreal declares state of emergency as flooding worsens

Montreal declares state of emergency due to flooding
WATCH ABOVE: Montreal has declared a state of emergency in response to the flooding in the region. Mike Armstrong reports.

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.

READ MORE: Pierrefonds mayor credits preparation for limited flooding so far

WATCH: Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante announced on Friday that they had declared a state of emergency in response to flooding in the region.

Montreal declares state of emergency in response to flooding
Montreal declares state of emergency in response to flooding

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.

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“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.

WATCH: Authorities are closely watching the Bell Falls Dam in Quebec. The dam is dangerously over capacity and everyone down river is under a mandatory evacuation order. Mike Armstrong reports.

Mandatory evacuations amid fears of Bell Falls Dam failure in QC
Mandatory evacuations amid fears of Bell Falls Dam failure in QC

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.”

READ MORE: How to protect yourself and your home from flooding

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

Ile-Bizard playing catch up amid flooding
Ile-Bizard playing catch up amid flooding

READ MORE: Rigaud issues mandatory evacuation order as Quebec deals with record flooding

Lachance explained the state of emergency is a preventative measure that will allow for more latitude, if the worst were to happen.

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“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.”

WATCH: Army now ordering people to leave flooded Quebec homes

Army now ordering people to leave flooded Quebec homes
Army now ordering people to leave flooded Quebec homes