LACHUTE — With more rain in the forecast and “alarming” water levels on the verge of getting worse across Quebec, the government says it won’t allocate more resources toward flood relief.Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault on Thursday visited first responders in the Laurentians, where about 30 soldiers were reinforcing dikes while firefighters and municipal workers scrambled to fight back the Rivière du Nord’s swelling waters.“As I’ve done from the beginning, I won’t hesitate to allocate more resources if things get worse,” Guilbault told reporters. “But I think we have the means in place to handle this right now.”Just a few hundred feet away from the minister, volunteers filled sandbags, and a bulldozer spread gravel across a road that leads to the river.Laurent Prévost has lived in Lachute his whole life and said he hasn’t seen flooding this bad since the 1980s. He said the water peaked early Thursday but appeared to be receding.“With the rain coming, I’m quite worried,” he said. “The water has already cracked my floor open and I’m not sure how much more we can take.”Prévost has had a pump running from his basement non-stop for the past 60 hours.Meanwhile, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante offered a message of support Thursday afternoon to those affected by flooding on the island: “We are here for you,” she said. “Everything is in place to help you.”With 20 to 50 millimetres of rain expected to fall in the coming days over the city, she said the “threat is real. Remain vigilant and help each other out — neighbours, especially the vulnerable.”She reminded those in need to call 311 if they require assistance. “Our No. 1 priority is to keep people safe.”“The heavy precipitation was recorded over the past 24 hours in the Outaouais River basin and we expect more on Saturday,” Montreal civil protection co-ordinator Bruno Lachance said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.“This can cause a large increase in the water level. … With the expected forecasts there is a risk the situation will worsen and our resources will be deployed for a prolonged period.”Plante, who said 1,300 homes had been inspected for flooding risk and nine evacuations ordered thus far, asked residents to continue their efforts to secure their homes. “We remind you that there are sandbags at your disposal to construct dikes.”
Municipal workers reinforce a dike at the end of Legault St. in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough of Montreal Wednesday April 24, 2019.
John Mahoney /
The mayor urged citizens who hadn’t already done so to consult the city’s civil protection webpage for tips on how to protect their homes.Montreal’s civil protection effort is being concentrated on the following boroughs: Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, L’Île-Bizard—Sainte-Geneviève, Rivière-des-Prairies—Pointe-aux-Trembles, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Village de Senneville, Pointe-Claire and Montreal-North.The recent decrease in the number of those affected by the flooding was attributable to a drop in water levels along the Chaudière River in the Beauce — by far the area hit hardest by flood waters.
A man hops in the water of a flooded street to get to a house on Saturday, April 20, 2019 in Ste-Marie Que., in the Beauce region.
Jacques Boissinot /
THE CANADIAN PRESS
However, melting snow in mountainous areas north of the Outaouais, Laurentian, Lanaudière and Mauricie regions has led to local flooding as well as a surge on waterways emptying into the already flooded corridor between Gatineau and Trois-Rivières.Part of that surge became evident in Laval Thursday morning as civil protection officials announced that access to Île-Bigras via a temporary bridge had been suspended because of rising water levels. Ferry service and a pedestrian bridge to the island remained in service.As of Thursday morning, 919 people had been forced to leave their homes because of the floods, 2,517 residences were flooded and another 2,184 were cut off from their communities because of high water levels.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is given an onsite briefing as he watches Canadian Forces members fill sandbags Wednesday April 24, 2019 in Gatineau, Que.
The Laurentian region now holds top place for the number of residences flooded or cut off from their communities, while the Montérégie has the highest number of evacuees — 254, almost all of them leaving their homes in Rigaud along the Outaouais River.The latest water level reports from across the province can be consulted at the Public Security ministry’s webpage.This story will be updated.Presse Canadienne contributed to this reportRelated