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Quebec flooding: Dozens of Rigaud residents defying mandatory evacuation order

Mandatory evacuations continue in Rigaud
WATCH ABOVE: A mandatory evacuation has been in effect in Rigaud since Friday as floodwaters reached historic levels but as Global’s Dan Spector reports, not everyone is heeding the call.

As of Saturday, only 10 Rigaud families had left their homes after officials issues a mandatory evacuation order on Friday. In the town west of Montreal, 172 homes remain occupied.

“The danger is that we can’t assure the safety of those people.” said Rigaud Fire Chief Daniel Boyer. “Firefighters won’t go there with their trucks, paramedics won’t go there with ambulances, it’s going take a while before you get rescued. I’d be scared staying there right now.”

READ MORE: Quebec premier urges caution amid flooding, landslides and road closures

Resident Luc Laperriere is one of those who decided to leave his home as the waters rose. Now he puts on chest waders each day to pay his house a visit.

“I come to my house every day to watch the pump, and to see if I can do more today than yesterday,” he told Global News.

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Laperriere is now living in a camper nearby, but said his neighbour has decided not to evacuate.

READ MORE: Quebec flooding: Galipeault Bridge closed, Vaudreuil-Dorion declares state of emergency

“He’s still staying there. He has a boat out front; he’s okay,” Laperriere explained

WATCH: Coverage of the Quebec flooding of 2019 on Globalnews.ca

One area of Rigaud is now being called “The Island,” because it can only be reached by boat.

“A lot of the time, the wives have gone, the children left, the husband stays there to save the house,” said Boyer.

“If there is a request from local authorities, listen to them,” pleaded Ian Lafreniere, Quebec’s Junior Public Security Minister, during a visit to Rigaud.

The Army and the Navy, meanwhile, are still keeping a strong presence in Rigaud.

In the coming days, authorities expect the water to rise higher than it did in the historic floods of 2017.