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Quebec premier pledges $1M to Red Cross to aid flood victims

Click to play video 'Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac emergency evacuations' Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac emergency evacuations
WATCH: Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes in Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac after a dike ruptured late Saturday. As Global’s Dan Spector reports, many left with nothing more than the clothes on their backs – Apr 28, 2019

Quebec Premier François Legault has pledged $1 million to the Red Cross to help flood victims.

The premier made the announcement Sunday afternoon from Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, northwest of Montreal, where a dike failure Saturday evening forced emergency evacuations.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) said a team of 200 officers was deployed to assist residents who were sitting down to supper when the dike broke, sending rushing water from the Lake of Two Mountains into the community.

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

Police have set up a mobile command post and have access to three boats, including an amphibious vehicle, which was used in some of the rescues.

Military personnel were also assisting in the rescue operations.

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By Sunday morning, 2,000 homes on 50 streets had been evacuated, affecting 5,000 residents.

WATCH: Evacuations in Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac after dike failure

The SQ says the evacuations went smoothly. There were no reports of injuries and no reports of missing people.

“It’s almost a miracle,” Legault said.

Two emergency shelters have been set up to house the evacuees. One is at the Olympia arena in Deux-Montagnes, the other at the Royal Canadian Legion on Chemin du Grand Moulin, also in Deux-Montagnes.

Legault expressed surprise that of the 5,000 evacuees, only 50 had sought help at the shelters. The premier explained that in similar circumstances the percentage of people needing housing was around 20 per cent. In Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac that number was only 1 per cent.

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WATCH: Quebec premier tours Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac after dike rupture
Click to play video 'Quebec premier tours Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac after dike rupture' Quebec premier tours Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac after dike rupture
Quebec premier tours Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac after dike rupture – Apr 28, 2019

“The majority are staying with friends and family,” he said. “What beautiful solidarity.”

A boil water advisory was put in place in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac following the dike rupture.

Evacuations continue in Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac following a dike breach on the Lake of Two Mountains. Sunday, April 28, 2019. Courtesy TVA

Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said the natural dike failed at around 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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She commended the efforts of all frontline workers who quickly responded, ensuring evacuations were carried out safely.

READ MORE: How to help, where to donate as flooding continues in Quebec

Guilbault said an additional 1,500 residents were being evacuated Sunday as a preventative measure. So far, one third of the territory has been affected.

Hydro-Québec has cut power to the area and a boil water advisory order is in effect. Residents are being told to boil their water for at least one minute before consuming.

Urgence Quebec’s latest report states that close to 7,600 people have been forced from their homes across the province as a result of flooding, with 5,584 residences flooded and 3,488 homes cut off due to floodwaters and landslides.

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

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau also issued a statement on Saturday restricting navigation in flood-affected areas to ensure the safety of residents and allow first responders to do their jobs.

“The order prohibits navigation by non-emergency vessels in the Ottawa River between Ottawa-Gatineau and the Carillon generating station, as well as on Lac des Deux-Montagnes, Rivière des Mille-Îles, and Rivière-des-Prairies,” the statement reads.

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WATCH: Emergency evacuations in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac as dam breaks

Click to play video 'Emergency evacuations in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac as dam breaks' Emergency evacuations in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac as dam breaks
Emergency evacuations in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac as dam breaks – Apr 28, 2019

The order gives enforcement officers the power to direct any vessel to stop or move out of affected areas. The ministry is warning that fines up to $5,000 could be issued for non-compliance.

Transport Canada has also banned remotely piloted aircraft systems or drones from operating with a nine-kilometre radius of flooded areas in Quebec.

Several communities have already declared states of emergency, including Montreal, Vaudreuil and Île-Perrot. The state of emergency in Île-Perrot was declared Saturday afternoon. The city’s website has a list of where residents can get sandbags. Residents are encouraged to register with the alert system and follow the city’s Facebook page.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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