Flood risk prompts Quebec town to declare state of emergency

Click to play video: 'Heavy rains force people in Quebec City area from their homes'
Heavy rains force people in Quebec City area from their homes
WATCH: A tropical low pressure system that’s been soaking Southeastern Quebec has forced people from their homes around the Montmorency River. It’s not clear how much damage is being caused now that people have left some communities. As Global’s Franca Mignacca reports, authorities are asking people to report problems to help them take the measure of the situation. – Jul 11, 2023

Heavy rain and rising river waters kept some communities in Quebec on high alert Tuesday, as parts of the province remained under a rainfall warning.

The City of Sherbrooke in the Eastern Townships said the Saint-François River had swelled to the point that it reached 20 feet deep. Preventive evacuations were carried out for about 144 homes, a campground and a garage near the river.

Public security officials continued to closely monitor the situation and also closed several streets at risk of flooding.

“Although the flow has decreased considerably in recent hours, the level of the river continues to evolve and has just reached the level of 20 feet,” the city said on its website.

Click to play video: 'Quebec’s Eastern Townships, parts of New England experience serious flooding'
Quebec’s Eastern Townships, parts of New England experience serious flooding

Cookshire-Eaton, just east of Sherbrooke, also announced it was evacuating several streets near the Eaton River, which spilled its banks overnight.

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Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval, near Quebec City, declared a state of emergency after 220 homes were evacuated amid fears that rising water levels on will lead to flooding. Meanwhile, officials also announced the evacuation of about 20 homes in the des Trois-Saults Street sector in Quebec City due to a surging Montmorency River.

Trois-Saults Street in the Beauport area of Quebec City has been evacuated. Franca Mignacca/Global News

Environment Canada’s rainfall warning remained in effect for several areas, including Saguenay, La Tuque and Les Escoumins. Some of those areas can expect up to another 50 millimetres of precipitation by the end of the day.

The department issued storm warnings for the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions north of Montreal, saying the conditions were right for heavy winds and hail.

“A low pressure system moving up the American Seaboard is generating significant of rain as well as thunderstorms across Southern and Central Quebec since Sunday evening,” the public weather agency said in a statement, adding that some areas saw up to 100 millimetres of rain by Tuesday morning.

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The summer storms led to flooded basements in Victoriaville, Quebec City and Sherbrooke, according to Environment Canada.

Quebec Premier François Legault said in a message on social media late Monday that the government is closely monitoring the situation in several regions where heavy precipitation is expected.

“I’m asking all Quebecers to be careful,” he said.

— with files from Global News’ Franca Mignacca and The Canadian Press

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