Canada – 100s Evacuate Floods in Quebec as More Heavy Rain Forecast

Update, 08 May 2017:

A state of emergency was declared in Montreal on Sunday afternoon 07 May and will remain in place for 48 hours.

In a statement, officials said:

“On May 7, Montréal declared a state of emergency in three boroughs and two reconstituted cities within the agglomeration in response to an unprecedented rise in water levels causing flooding in the following areas: Ahuntsic–Cartierville; L’Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève; Pierrefonds-Roxboro; Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue; and Senneville.

There remains a risk of flooding for various sectors on the Island of Montréal. A total of 179 homes have been evacuated.”

Urgence Québec say that flooding across the province of Quebec has now affected 146 cities or municipalities, with 2,429 homes flooded, 1,520 people evacuated and 427 roads closed.

As many as 1,200 troops have been deployed to help evacuate people and shore up flood defences, according to Canada’s National Defence.

Original report, 06 May 2017:

Further flooding has affected parts of Quebec, Canada after prolonged rain over the last few days.

This is the second major flood event in the province in the space of 3 weeks. In mid April three municipalities declared a state of emergency after flooding from the overflowing Gatineau and Ottawa rivers.

Meanwhile the wet weather continues and Environment Canada has warned of potentially heavy rain southeast of Lakes Erie and Ontario later today, and then Eastern Ontario into Quebec this weekend.

Quebec

In Quebec, disaster management agency Urgence Québec says that, as of 06 May, 121 cities and municipalities are currently affected by floods. As many as 1,506 houses had suffered flood damage and 857 people had evacuated their homes. Over 300 roads are affected by the flood waters across the province.

One of the worst hit areas is Gatineau, Outaouais region, an area affected by the flooding in April. Urgence Québec reports that 148 homes are currently flooded and 248 people evacuated. A further 586 residences have been requested to evacuate.

In a status report of 06 May, the city of Gatineau said that 90 mm of rain has fallen in the area since 01 May, including 40 mm on the day of Friday, 05 May. A further 40 to 60 mm of rain is still expected to fall in Gatineau by Sunday. Some water bodies around the city has risen as much as 19 cm in the last 24 hours.

Elsewhere in Outaouais region, 71 were evacuated in Maniwaki, 53 in Mansfield-et-Pontrefact and 21 in Waltham.

In Saint-André-d’Argenteuil, Laurentides region, 145 people were evacuated and in Rigaud, Montérégie region, 104 people evacuated their homes.

Montréal region has also seen some flooding. Over 30 people were evacuated in l’Île Mercier and 23 in Secteur Île Bizard – Sainte-Geneviève.

Evacuations have also been carried out in the regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Mauricie.

Federal and Military Assistance

In a statement on 05 May, Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said:

“I have spoken with my provincial counterpart, Public Safety Minister Martin Coiteux, regarding the flooding situation. On behalf of the Government, the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, and I have accepted his formal request for federal assistance to help citizens in need.

“The Government Operations Centre has dedicated staff working to coordinate the federal response to the situation in Quebec. Officials are working closely with federal and Quebec partners on planning the details this assistance, including support from Canadian Armed Forces.  Citizens can rest assured that help will be provided as soon as possible.”

River Levels

In a statement yesterday the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board said:

“Forecast rainfall is expected to produce major flooding in vulnerable areas along the main stem of the Ottawa River between Pembroke down to the Montreal area. Historic record conditions are expected in many locations with levels expected to peak on Sunday or Monday into Tuesday May 9th. Property owners at risk of flooding are encouraged to contact their local municipality for support.”

According to Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board, as of 05 May 2017 levels of the Ottawa River (in metres) stood at:

  • Mattawa 153.81
  • Pembroke 113.01
  • Lake Coulonge at Fort-Coulonge 108.44
  • Chats Lake at Arnprior 75.72
  • Lake Deschenes at Britannia (Ottawa) 60.12
  • Gatineau 44.59
  • Grenville 42.39

The Gatineau River at Maniwaki was 165.99 metres.

Heavy Rainfall in Ontario

Earlier today Environment Canada has said that “a large moisture laden low pressure area which came from Texas is tracking just southeast of Lakes Erie and Ontario tonight. This low is expected to drift slowly north across Eastern Ontario into Quebec this weekend. This has resulted in a prolonged significant rainfall event for almost all of Southern Ontario, triggering widespread rainfall warnings across the area.”

Rainfall Figures

Rainfall figures for Ontario 05 to 06 May according to Environment Canada.

  • Ridgetown 53.4 mm
  • Hamilton Botanical Gardens 55.6 mm
  • Vineland 54.8 mm
  • Trenton 65.8 mm
  • Cobourg 56.9 mm
  • Point Petre 51.6 mm
  • Kingston 56.4 mm

Social Media

Featured photo: Flooding in Gatineau, May 2017. Credit: City of Gatineau

Flood Summary

Last updated: May 12, 2017
Event
Quebec, Canada, May 2017
Date
May 3, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Gatineau
B - Maniwaki
C - Mansfield-et-Pontrefact
D - Rigaud
E - Île Mercier
F - Secteur Île Bizard

Magnitude

River level
153.81 metres
Ottawa River, Mattawa - May 5 to May 5, 2017
River level
44.59 metres
Ottawa River, Gatineau - May 5 to May 5, 2017
River level
113.01 metres
Ottawa River, Pembroke - May 5 to May 5, 2017
River level
165.99 metres
Gatineau River, Maniwaki - May 5 to May 5, 2017
River level
42.39 metres
Ottawa River, Grenville - May 5 to May 5, 2017

Damages

Evacuated
3,641
Quebec - May 3 to May 11, 2017
Buildings damaged
4,485
Quebec - May 3 to May 11, 2017
Roads closed
552
Quebec - May 8 to May 11, 2017
Fatalities
1 person
Saint-Anne-des-Monts, Gaspé region, Quebec - May 8 to May 11, 2017
Vehicle swept away in Sainte-Anne River. As of 10 May, 1 still missing.