1,500 people evacuated after major spring floods in Quebec


Floods in the suburbs of Montreal, April 22, 2019. – AFP

Quebec has its feet in the water.
Significant spring floods resulted in the evacuation of 1,700 people and affected more than 2,500 homes in the French-speaking Canadian province. Eight hundred soldiers were mobilized to help the inhabitants, distributing sandbags or helping evacuate their homes.

Monday, the authorities had 2,549 homes evacuated, 1,565 homes isolated by water and 1,688 evacuees, according to figures released by Urgence Québec Monday. For residents, there is an air of déjà-vu: some localities had already been hit by devastating floods in 2017, said the Minister of Public Security of Quebec Geneviève Guilbeault, deploring that residents have “to relive this nightmare. “

More frequent events

She called on the population to “not take unnecessary risks” and to respect the instructions of local authorities. For his part, Quebec Premier François Legault visited disaster victims in Gatineau, a neighboring city of Ottawa. He defended his government's new compensation program, which aims to compensate victims more quickly, while suggesting that some of them may have to move.

“We have to face the facts, among other things with global warming, there are events that occur more frequently than in the past. So we have to be able to adjust our programs, “he said. The most affected areas were notably in the Beauce region, south of Quebec City. Some 300 homes were flooded in Beauceville and a thousand in the city of Sainte-Marie, in the same region.

A victim washed away

Recent rains and snowmelt have caused the flooding of several rivers. Rising temperatures since Sunday raised fears of an acceleration of snowmelt and weather services were forecasting rain in southern Quebec in the coming days.

The floods left a victim Saturday in the Quebec municipality of Pontiac (west of Ottawa), where a septuagenarian did not see a small bridge on the road was washed away, and fell with his vehicle in the stream below. Eastern Canada experienced its worst flood in the spring of 2017 in half a century. They had caused significant damage and the evacuation of several thousand people from Ontario to New Brunswick.


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