HELL AND HIGH WA­TER

Ri­gaud de­clares state of emer­gency, or­ders res­i­dents to evac­u­ate homes

Montreal Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PETER McCABE

GRA­HAM HUGHES/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

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