Hundreds of homes threatened as flood waters continue to rise

Hundreds of homes threatened as flood waters continue to rise

RIGAUD, Que. — Rising water levels continued to flood various regions of Quebec on Wednesday, with parts of the Montreal area hit particularly hard by the impact of heavy rains.

Some streets were submerged in the western borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, forcing residents to leave their homes.

Further west, just off the island, the community of Rigaud bore the brunt of heavy rain, with more than 30 familes having to evacuate their residences.

Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. said about 400 homes could be affected by the surging water levels.

Gruenwald said river levels have risen by eight centimetres in the past two weeks and were expected to climb another five to seven centimetres on Wednesday.

That, he added, could see water starting to enter homes through basement windows.

Gruenwald said he is very concerned with the situation in his community.

“We are preoccupied with this high level, not just because of the level of the water,” he said. “We are preoccupied because, at that level, if we start having strong wind, either east wind or west wind, it will cause an enormous amount of damage.”

The mayor urged more residents to leave their homes.

“If anything happens and we need to give this service to evacuate them under emergency status at 2 o’clock in the morning with three feet of water in the street, it’s not going to be very funny,” Gruenwald said.

“This is not July, this is not August, when the water is nice and warm. This is serious business, very serious business.”

Martin Guilbault, the chief of operations for the Montreal fire department, warned residents to not resort to generators to try to keep their homes dry.

“Generators can’t be used inside homes because of carbon monoxide,” said Guilbault. “Generators must be outside.”

Central Quebec was also affected, with 250 homes threatened in Becancour, while officials in the western Quebec town of Gatineau said more than 80 residences had been evacuated as of Wednesday afternoon.

Environment Canada said heavy rain is expected to fall in several regions of the province on Friday and Saturday.

The Canadian Press

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