Over 200 homes evacuated near Quebec city as heavy rain prompts flooding, landslide fears

Kévin Masson, left, and Mélody Bastien, local residents of Cantley, Que. make their way to dry land after searching and assisting in the evacuation of local residents on Thursday, May 4, 2023. Flood warnings are in effect for the national capital region following significant rainfall and increased water runoff. Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press

Officials have ordered the evacuation of 220 homes in Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval, Que., near Quebec City, amid fears that rising water levels will lead to flooding.

City manager Marc Proulx says 70 millimetres of rain fell over a few hours north of the town and that the water level of a local river is rising rapidly.

He says that flooding is expected to begin within several hours and that the evacuation was ordered to ensure residents can leave safely.

Click to play video: '2 people missing after torrential rain in Quebec causes landslide'
2 people missing after torrential rain in Quebec causes landslide

Joshua Ménard-Suarez, a Public Security Department spokesperson, says several parts of southern and central Quebec are being monitored for possible flooding and landslides.

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Ménard-Suarez says officials are particularly concerned about the Charlevoix region, located northeast of Quebec City, as well as the Eastern Townships, east of Montreal.

Environment Canada is forecasting that between 80 millimetres and 120 millimetres of rain will fall in those areas by the end of the day on Tuesday.

He says people should notify municipal officials if rainfall leads to changes to sloped land, as that is a sign of an imminent landslide.

“The precipitation that falls on waterways, we see the water level rise in real time, but landslides are more insidious, sometimes enough water falls to impact the ground so that it becomes susceptible to a landslide that finally takes place a few days after,” Menard-Suarez said.

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