Quebec spring flooding becoming a concern

Quebec spring flooding becoming a concern

St. Raymond (Quebec) 31 March 2015 – The community of St. Raymond, just west of Quebec City is concerned once again this year about the spring melt-off that often causes flooding in the area.

As this year has been particularly cold there is more ice than usual in the Sainte-Anne River causing concern that not only will the melting ice cause waters to rise more than usual but, will also create a problem of access to the river banks.

The city tries every year to diminish the chance of flooding by digging canals and temporary ditches around the flood zones in order to at least control the water levels. Last year the city had to pay out $600,000 to renovate and repair certain buildings in the downtown area due to the excess flooding which occurred during a rapid melt of the surrounding ice and snow.

The problem this year is the amount of ice that has formed along the river banks. There is so much of it that it is making it difficult to approach the river’s edge with the equipment required to dig the temporary ditches.

The city would like to find a permanent solution to the flooding problem and has hired Brian Morse, a Université Laval engineer to help find a remedy. M. Morse and his team have been out 40 times during the winter to study the ice thickness and its movements in and around St. Raymond to help find a suitable and permanent fix to the problem. He claims however that the city is somewhat vulnerable to a spring thaw overflow and seems to think that the city will have to make some major changes to solve the problem. His report will be published early this summer.

The city manager, François Dumont says the city has already spent $75,000 on research carried out by the University and received another $50,000 from the provincial public security budget to help cover the costs of the research.

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