‘This is se­ri­ous busi­ness’

Hun­dreds of homes threat­ened as flood waters con­tinue to rise near Mon­treal

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

Flood waters are con­tin­u­ing to threaten hun­dreds of homes in the Mon­treal-area town of Rigaud.

Mayor Hans Gru­en­wald Jr. says about 400 res­i­dences could be af­fected by the surg­ing wa­ter lev­els.

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

He says that means wa­ter could start en­ter­ing homes through base­ment win­dows.

Thirty-one fam­i­lies have had to evac­u­ate their homes and are be­ing helped by fam­ily, friends and the Red Cross.

Flood­ing is also af­fect­ing homes in the bor­ough of Pier­re­fonds-Roxboro on the west­ern part of the is­land of Mon­treal.

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 Wed­nes­day. “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 Red Cross has helped peo­ple in 31 Rigaud res­i­dences evac­u­ate and the mayor urged oth­ers to fol­low suit.

“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.”

CP PHOTO

Work­ers wear­ing hip waders pass a sub­merged car as they walk on Rue Saint-Louis in Gatineau, af­ter flood­ing caused by sig­nif­i­cant rainfall, on Wed­nes­day.

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