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Montrealers asked to prepare for rising waters as coronavirus pandemic affects flooding response

Click to play video 'City of Montreal warns West Islanders to prepare for floods' City of Montreal warns West Islanders to prepare for floods
WATCH: Water levels continue to rise in the west of the island of Montreal and the city has issued instructions to residents of those areas to start to prepare. Gloria Henriquez explains.

The City of Montreal is asking residents who live in areas prone to flooding to put preventive measures in place as the long weekend begins and amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Homeowners are urged to take any necessary steps to safeguard their properties in a notice from the city on Friday. This includes creating sandbags, preparing an emergency kit and having an evacuation plan.

Residents in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève, Senneville and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue are asked to be vigilant in the coming days.

“Let me tell you, the people living in the flood zones are extra stressed, they’re really stressed,” said Île-Bizard resident Jim Butt.

READ MORE: Why COVID-19 could affect spring flooding response in Quebec

However, due to COVID-19, the city warns that people must still abide by physical-distancing measures if they prepare sandbags.

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The Quebec government is also not offering up emergency shelters for flood victims this spring. In March, the province’s public security minister said the measure was necessary to avoid the spread of the virus.

As a result, the city is asking citizens to prepare a plan or backup accommodations if they are forced to leave their homes.

READ MORE: Pierrefonds borough prepares for flood season during coronavirus pandemic

Authorities are monitoring water levels in high-risk areas and the city said in a statement it is ready to intervene if spring flooding occurs.

Earlier this week, the city launched a campaign where flood officials will be visiting homes in high-risk areas throughout April to ensure residents are prepared.

In 2019, historic spring flooding hit at least 250 Quebec municipalities and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.

Click to play video 'Pierrefonds on guard as flood season approaches' Pierrefonds on guard as flood season approaches
Pierrefonds on guard as flood season approaches