April 26, 2019 6:12 pm
Updated: April 26, 2019 8:22 pm

Floodwaters threaten Île-aux-Tourtes, Galipeault bridges outside Montreal

WATCH: A portion of Highway 40 in Vaudreuil has been closed as workers try to keep water from the Lake of Two Mountains from spilling over on to the road. As Global's Phil Carpenter explains, the transport ministry is watching the water levels closely and will not hesitate to close more highways if the situation becomes dangerous.

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In Vaudreuil on Friday, work was underway to make sure that water from the Lake of Two Mountains doesn’t end up on Highway 40 west of the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

“Stopping the water is extremely difficult, particularly when we’re talking about record levels of water,” Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke tells Global News.

READ MORE: Montreal declares state of emergency as flooding worsens


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Water from the Lake of Two Mountains that flows beneath the Île-aux-Tourtes and Galipeault bridges is rising, and the portion of Highway 40 that partially flooded in 2017, is at risk of flooding again.

On Friday, Transport Quebec workers began erecting concrete barriers along the shoulder of the highway.

“The temporary barriers are less to keep the water out, because it’s almost impossible to do that, and more to stop debris,” said Schiefke.

He expects water levels to be greater than in the 2017 floods.

“The water volume that we had was roughly 8,600 cubic metres per second, if I’m not mistaken,” he said.

This time authorities believe it will exceed 10,000 cubic metres, and that the water levels could be 30 centimetres higher. With all the rain in the forecast, that could happen as early as Monday. There are no plans to close either bridge yet.

READ MORE: Preparing for the worst: Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on edge as waters rise

“In 2017, the pont Galipeault was closed,” said Guy Pilon, mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion.

But he hopes this time, even though there will be more water, they’ll be able to manage.

“If Galipeault is closed and Île-aux-Tourtes is closed, everything is blocked between Toronto and Montreal,” he said. “So I think they’re gonna do everything they can to prevent that.”

But if that was to happen, officials want motorists to plan their travel and use alternate routes, and they warn, it will take several weeks before the waters recede.

“We’re in the for the long haul,” Schiefke stresses. “Be prepared, be safe and above all, be patient.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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