Flood watch in effect as unrelenting rain continues in Quebec
After a night of unrelenting rain, up to 45 mm of rain is expected across Quebec by Friday evening, prompting some flood-stricken municipalities to brace for rising water levels.
The borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro is asking residents to stay alert, saying increased water flow is expected throughout the course of the day.
“What we’re saying to the folks is don’t touch the dikes,” said Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayor Jim Beis.
Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for several areas across southern and central Quebec, including Montreal, the Laurentians, Quebec City and Gatineau areas.
“There was a lot of rain in the [Abitibi-Témiscamingue] region and some snow that is still melting. All that water is coming down the Ottawa River and it takes a couple of days to reach the Ottawa and Montreal areas,” said Simon Legault, an Environment Canada meteorologist.
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While water levels in Pierrefonds have gone down several inches this week, they’re still as high was they were in 2017 in some parts of the city.
Officials insist it is better to be safe than sorry.
“Certainly, everyone is frustrated, but I think it’s better we’re safe than take a chance and remove or tell the residents to remove any dikes around their homes, and be faced with a situation where we’re dealing with additional damage,” said Beis.
According to Legault, Quebec has received twice as much rain in April of this year as in previous years.
In Rigaud, about 80 km west of Montreal, authorities said on Thursday they were hoping there wouldn’t be as much rain as forecast by Environment Canada. Water levels are still high in the area.
Major spring flooding over the past three weeks has wreaked havoc across Quebec. Urgence-Québec says more than 5,000 homes are flooded and about 10,400 people have been forced from their homes as of Thursday evening.
–With files from Global News’ Shakti Langlois-Ortega
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