HELL AND HIGH WATER
Rigaud declares state of emergency, orders residents to evacuate homes
Heavy rains brought a rising Rivière des Prairies to the door of a home on Île Mercier near Île-Bizard, Thursday. Flooding caused the town of Rigaud to declare an emergency and many communities are on the alert, with more rain in the forecast.
This week’s heavy rains and the possibility of more precipitation have resulted in flood watches being issued for Montreal, Laval and several West Island municipalities.
The town of Rigaud declared a state of emergency Thursday as flood waters crested, covering roads and flooding basements. Calling it a “historic flood, the municipality, located roughly 60 kilometres west of central Montreal, ordered residents of several sectors to evacuate their homes due to fears access roads will become too covered to navigate, trapping citizens in their homes.
Residents who don’t have alternative lodgings can go to the municipal library “until they find a friend or family member to stay with,” the city’s website states, but they are not allowed to bring their pets with them. Temporary housing will be found for those who have none, the city said. A bus has been hired to visit affected streets and help bring out people, but reportedly many were defying the evacuation order.
In Montreal, flood risk updates have been issued for the boroughs of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Île-Bizard–SteGeneviève, where sandbags are being distributed to residents and for the town of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.
High water level advisories were issued for Rivière-des-Prairies, Lake of Two Mountains and Lac Saint-Louis. In Pierrefonds-Roxboro, the city’s public security department reported minor impacts, but the situation was under control. In Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, water levels on the l’Anse à l’Orme river were slightly higher, but no impacts had been reported.
In Laval, a flood risk update warns residents that river levels are expected to rise Thursday and Friday and that municipal authorities “have already noticed flooding in the streets, on properties and in some residents’ homes, especially in the Chomedey, Îles Laval, Lavalsur-le-Lac, Laval-Ouest and Fabreville districts.”
The forecast for the Montreal area calls for rain to continue through to Saturday night. Environment Canada had no alerts in the forecast for the Montreal region.
A total of 18.2 millimetres of rain fell on the Montreal area on Wednesday.
This intersection in Rigaud, west of Montreal, was completely submerged Thursday. The town is providing temporary housing, though some residents are defying an evacuation order.