Canada – Flooding in Quebec and Ontario Prompts Evacuations

Three municipalities in Quebec, Canada, declared a state of emergency last week after flooding from the overflowing Gatineau and Ottawa rivers. In Ontario, record heavy rain caused flash floods and mudslides in the Hamilton area.

Quebec

The spring thaw coupled with heavy rains from Wednesday 19 April increased river levels in parts of Quebec. By Thursday Rigeau municipality had declared a state of emergency. Over 440 families in Rigeau were advised to leave their homes as a result of the flood threat, although it is thought that over 100 families chose to remain.

Visiting affected areas of Rigeau, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said it’s the worst flooding in the region since 1998.

The municipalities of Pontiac and Saint-André-Avellin were also affected by flooding and later declared a state of emergency.

Areas around Gatineau were also flooded after both the Ottawa River and the Gatineau River overflowed. More than 30 families voluntarily evacuated. Gatineau however did not declare a state of emergency

The provincial government has promised to provide compensation to flood victims.

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Ontario

Heavy rain in the Hamilton area caused flash floods and mudslides on Thursday 20 April. The Dundas area of the city suffered some of the worst of the damage.

As much as 72.4 mm of rain fell at Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Hamilton in 12 hours on 20 April, which is more than the city would normally see for the whole of an average April.

Flooded streets of Dundas, Hamilton, April 2017. Photo; Hamilton Street Railway

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Flood summary

Last updated: April 24, 2017
Event
Quebec and Ontario, Canada, April 2017
Date
April 20 to April 24, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Snow melt

Locations

A - Pontiac, Québec
B - Saint-André-Avellin, Québec
C - Gatineau, Québec
D - Rigeau, Québec
E - Dundas, Hamilton, Ontario

Magnitude

Rainfall level
72.4 mm in 24 hours
Dundas, Hamilton - April 19 to April 20, 2017
Most of the rain fell in a 12 hour period. Hamilton normally sees 73 mm for the whole of April.

Damages

Evacuated
1,000
Quebec - April 20 to April 24, 2017
Around 300 homes were evacuated in Rigeau (440 were advised to leave) and 30 homes in Gatineau