After summer storms bring torrential rain, evacuees start heading home in Quebec

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
Roads are washed out and dozens of rescues were performed south of the border after prolonged rainfall. Quebec has seen flooding as well, but not as serious. As Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, public security officials in Quebec are now watching for the potential of landslides. – Jul 11, 2023

After hard and heavy rain over the past few days in southern and central Quebec, some evacuees were given the green light to return home Wednesday.

Quebec Public Security Minister François Bonnardel wrote on social media that flooding is ongoing in parts of the province and the government plans to “quickly implement” its financial assistance program to help municipalities and victims.

Bonnardel also thanked crews for all their hard work as summer storms brought torrential rain and surging rivers to Quebec since Sunday.

In Sherbrooke, 150 kilometres east of Montreal, officials said residents could head home after they were asked to leave due to a high risk of flooding. The Saint-François River’s water levels — which reached 20 feet deep — stabilized overnight, allowing roads in the area to reopen.

“However, our teams are continuing proactive monitoring,” the city said in an update on its website.

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Meanwhile, it seems the worst is over in Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval near Quebec City. Between 500 and 600 people were forced from their homes and the town declared a statement of emergency Tuesday.

The town began allowing some evacuees to head home as of 10 a.m., though many streets and residences remain off limits. Residents must get permission from their nearest checkpoint to access their homes, the town said online.

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

Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval officials said those who live in the Lac Poulin and Rang St-Léon sectors can’t go back until further notice. A pair of bridges must be inspected by engineers to ensure they are safe.

In Quebec City, evacuees in the Beauport area were also able to return home Wednesday. Public security officials warned residents to be cautious near waterways in the coming days, especially with the chance of more rain on the way,

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Environment Canada has lifted all rainfall warnings that were in place in the province after summer storms started Sunday evening.

Montreal was largely spared from the torrential rain, but some areas — like Quebec City, the Laurentians and the Eastern Townships — received upwards of 100 millimetres of precipitation.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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