May 7, 2017

Montreal declares state of emergency as flooding continues

Québec
Canada
by
Giuseppe Valiante
,
Toronto Star
Two men move along a flooded street using a small boat in the town of Rigaud, west of Montreal, Sunday, following flooding in the region. In total, nearly 1,900 homes are flooded in 126 municipalities in Quebec. Photo: Graham Hughes, The Canadian Press
Two men move along a flooded street using a small boat in the town of Rigaud, west of Montreal, Sunday, following flooding in the region. In total, nearly 1,900 homes are flooded in 126 municipalities in Quebec. Photo: Graham Hughes, The Canadian Press

Thousands of Canadians across the country spent the weekend in a desperate struggle with rising floodwaters caused by unusually persistent rainfall.

Quebec has been hardest hit, with nearly 1,900 flooded homes in roughly 130 municipalities, from the Ontario border in the west to the Gaspe Peninsula.

National Defence said in a release that approximately 800 additional troops were deployed in Quebec on Sunday, joining more than 400 Canadian Armed Forces members already assisting with the flood effort in the province.

The troops, along with aircraft and 12 boats from the Naval Reserve, were being positioned to aid communities across Quebec, several of which are under a state of emergency, it said in a release.

On Sunday, Montreal became the latest Quebec city to declare a state of emergency after three dikes gave way in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, in the north end of the city by the Rivieres des Prairies.

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Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said about 220 people in the city had been evacuated from their homes.

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In Gatineau, Que., near the border with Ontario, 380 residences were evacuated and officials want to evacuate another 900 homes Sunday.

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Rob Kuhn, an Environment Canada meteorologist based in Toronto, said Sunday that eastern Ontario saw the most rainfall in the province. He added that upward of 80 millimetres of rain fell between Friday and Sunday morning in the Trenton area.

In Atlantic Canada, some parts of New Brunswick recorded more than 150 millimetres of rain after a nearly 36 hour non-stop downpour.

A weather station northeast of Saint John, N.B., measured 155 millimetres of precipitation from late Friday to early Sunday.