Flood fighting continues in Central, Eastern and Western Canada

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 8, 2017

"Given this new reality, we've chose to call on the federal government and the armed forces to support the local authorities, the (civil) security, the Red Cross and all the teams working with you to make sure you are safe and your property is safe as well".

More than 2,000 homes have been flooded in 130 towns and cities, with authorities urging residents to evacuate before it is too late.

They were transported to other locations.

The flooding was especially bad in Quebec province, where some 400 troops have been dispatched.

Steve Lapierre, who lives in a basement apartment, said he was awakened by a neighbour who told him about the flooding. "So when that raindrop falls, it become immediately a flood drop", he said.

The floors in all his rooms were submerged and his upstairs neighbours allowed him to store his more valued possessions with them.

The result, he said, is relentless rain falling on regions that have already endured double to triple the seasonal norms for rainfall over the past five weeks.

"It's disastrous and it (the water) is rising every day". Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. says evacuation is mandatory in some areas and firefighters will be going door to door to make sure people leave their homes. "But I would like to reiterate my appeal".

"If we're asking them to leave their homes, don't worry, we'll be there to protect your property. If we're doing that, it's for your own safety, for your health, and for the health and safety of your family".

"We are now seeing a potential increase in the level of rivers and nearly a certainty that the floods are going to get actually worse in the coming days over the next week", the premier said.

Airbnb said Saturday it has activated its Disaster Response Program in Montreal, Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., to help residents impacted by the flooding in Quebec and Eastern Ontario.

As of Sunday, Robert Robillard, a Pierrefonds resident, had yet to evacuate, despite the 10 to 15 cm of water in his basement.

The wet weather will take aim at Atlantic Canada starting Friday night and continue through the weekend. The rest of the province was set to see another 20 to 40 millimetres.

The agency says another 30 millimetres of rain is likely north of the St. Lawrence River through Sunday while the Montreal area can expect slightly lesser amounts. "This is absolutely normal spring weather".

"We know that water levels won't drop in the next few days", Couillard told a meeting of provincewide municipal officials.

"The smaller streams can fluctuate and fill up more quickly than a bigger river".

"We are very aware of the situation around the province and monitoring it very, very closely", she said. "It's a bit of a waiting game right now".

Meanwhile, in British Columbia on the opposite side of the country, the same combination of rain and snow melt has caused flooding and mudslides that left at least two people missing, media reports said.

The city of Montreal declared a state of emergency on Sunday afternoon as floodwaters spread from torrential rains that have lashed the city since early on Friday, causing the worst flooding in decades, city officials said.

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