Floods: the number of evacuees triples in Quebec

The number of homes flooded and people evacuated due to flooding surged during the night from Saturday to Sunday, notably because of the rupture of a natural dyke in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, in the Laurentians .
S ccording to provisional results released Sunday at 19h by the Public Security, the number of flooded homes increased from 3584 to 6424. The evacuees rose 2572 to 9522. There were also isolated houses 3508 compared to 3101, Saturday.

“These are important numbers, we are well aware,” acknowledged the Minister of Public Security Geneviève Guilbault, during his daily press briefing.

The water rose to Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac so quickly in an area of ​​about fifty streets that could be seen cars completely submerged Sunday morning, said Sergeant Daniel Thibaudeau of the Sûreté du Québec ( SQ) who was there. Water has even reached the windows on the ground floor in some places.

In its balance sheet, the Public Security numbered 2,500 homes flooded and 6,000 evacuees to Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, a city of about 18,000 inhabitants located on the shore of Lake Deux-Montagnes .

In briefing, the Minister of Public Security, Genevieve Guilbault, said that another area of ​​the small municipality had been evacuated Sunday morning preemptively.

A rest

Minister Guilbault was reassuring that the weather will give some “well deserved” respite to the population and the response teams over the next few days since no precipitation is announced by Wednesday. “This will finally provide an opportunity for our teams and the people affected to recover their breath,” she said.

The situation in Mauricie and Center-du-Québec seemed to be stabilizing, with only 14 evacuees on Sunday morning. In Beauce, too, the situation seems to be abating. In Sainte-Marie, the number of homes flooded had dropped to 100, but 10 people had been evacuated. Another example: in the Laurentians, the city of Amherst announced that it was lifting the emergency measures even if, according to Public Security data, 200 houses were still flooded, Sunday evening.

The situation also seems to be improving for Rigaud, in Montérégie, where the number of evacuees had dropped slightly to 567.

Moreover, the city of Montreal held Sunday afternoon a special meeting of its municipal council in Pierrefonds to renew the state of emergency decreed Friday. In her statement, she said “this is the first time, since the reconstruction of the current city hall in 1926, that the city council will sit outside the town hall.”

In a press briefing, Mayor Valérie Plante indicated that repeated floods, year after year, are leading all levels of government to question the future.

“We can not say to each other now:” Oh, cuddle! It happened two years ago, so it will not happen in 20 years. “This is not the situation anymore, she said. “We see that the ravages, the negative impacts of climate change are more and more frequent and stronger and affect even places that were not before.”

In Gatineau, where the number of evacuees exceeded 1,100 people, Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin appealed to the population to return to work. “We must free the road network as much as possible, and that for several weeks,” he said.

City authorities will also have to take into account the decision of Public Services and Procurement Canada to close the Union Bridge on the Chaudière crossing since Sunday morning because of the high flow of water.

Earlier, Ms. Guilbault announced that the Quebec government offices in Gatineau will be closed “to limit travel and avoid overloading the road network”.

Forbidden to navigate

Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced Saturday night that some areas were banned from shipping.

As a result, no building other than emergency vessels may operate on the Ottawa River between Gatineau on the one hand and the Carillon hydroelectric generating station on the other. The ban extends to Deux-Montagnes Lake and the Thousand Islands and Prairie Rivers.

The Ministerial Order stresses that all law enforcement officers, including RCMP officers and all provincial and municipal police officers, may “order any vessel to stop or leave the area.” Mr. Garneau added that “offenders are subject to fines of up to $ 5,000”.

The department has also restricted the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (UAVs) within 9 km of any region affected by the floods in Quebec.

In Quebec, many roads and bridges remain closed to vehicular traffic.

In the Montreal area, Highway 20 will remain closed Monday at the Proulx and Galipeault bridges, west of Montreal. Among the palliative measures planned to mitigate these closures, the Minister listed the free Vaudreuil-Hudson suburban rail line and the toll suspension on Highway 30.

EXO has announced that the Saint-Jérôme train line will also be free by Monday.

Minister Guilbault reminded the public that it was important to “cooperate with the instructions” and asked not to approach the structures and not to circulate on closed roads.

Alan Carter
Alan Carter
Alan Carter has been a reporter on the news desk since 2015. Before that she wrote about young adolescents and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Koz Post, Alan Carter worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.