Floods: towards a “gradual return to normal”

The precipitation overnight from Friday to Saturday, which turned out to be less than expected, will have prepared the ground for a “gradual return to normal” after the floods that struck several municipalities of southern Quebec, reports the spokesman Provincial Civil Protection Act.

In an interview with La Presse canadienne on Saturday, Thomas Blanchet, from the Department of Public Safety, reported that the situation had stabilized in Greater Montréal – the area most threatened by recent showers. A decline is expected to begin over the next few days across the province, he said.

The Minister of Public Security, Martin Coiteux, went to Rigaud on Friday, when a state of emergency was declared the day before. The small municipality of Montérégie recommends that residents of 470 residences leave their homes. On Saturday morning, 24 of them had been evacuated.

Elsewhere in the Montérégie, some residences and roads are also flooded or threatened to be in Hudson, L’Île-Cadieux, Île-Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Pincourt, Pointe- Terrace-Vaudreuil, Vaudreuil-Dorion and Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac.

In Outaouais, the municipalities of Pontiac and Saint-André-Avellin also declared a state of emergency. Residences have also been isolated or flooded in the municipalities of Ripon, Cayamant and Duhamel. The Outaouais River overflowed Boulevard Hurtubise in Gatineau, where ten residents had to leave their homes. In Montpellier, Schryder Creek came out of bed, forcing the evacuation of two disaster victims. In Plaisance, about fifteen people also abandoned their residence.

In Lanaudière, the level of the L’Assomption and Ouareau rivers is expected to stop rising during the day on Saturday. About one hundred residences in Mandeville were isolated by the flood of the Mastigouche River, while at Dupas Island, the St. Lawrence River isolated some twenty houses.

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Residences in the Laurentians have been flooded or isolated and roads are inaccessible in the municipalities of Bois-des-Fillion, Deux-Montagnes, Harrington, Kanesatake, Mirabel, Oka, Pointe-Calumet, Prévost, Sainte- Le-Lac and Saint-Placide. Several evacuations have been reported in this region, including Saint-André-d’Argenteuil, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, and Val-Morin.

Urban centers are not spared: in the Montreal area, the Rivière des Prairies flooded 18 residences on Mercier Island and Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève, Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Pierrefonds- Roxboro are also affected, although no evacuation is reported for now, despite flooded residences, and a dozen homes in Laval are threatened by the flood waters.

Further east, in the Center-du-Québec region and in Mauricie, the Bécancour River flooded a road, affecting some twenty residences in the municipality of the same name and, across the river, more A hundred residences are isolated in Louiseville, Maskinongé and Yamachiche.

Prime Minister Philippe Couillard says his government is closely following the situation. He said local elected officials and civil security officials constantly monitor watercourses that have come out of their beds or are threatening to do so.

The Prime Minister agrees that the situation is difficult for residents who have to evacuate their homes, but he asks them to “hold on”. He said security is a priority, but “we will try to encourage them to return home as soon as possible”.

Thomas Blanchet recommends the victims to follow the instructions of their municipality as to the process of reinstatement of their home and to quickly inform their insurer and the ministry as to the financial assistance to which they will be entitled.