TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Two of Canada’s biggest cities have declared states of emergency and three provinces have asked for federal help to fight rising flood waters as Mother Nature’s wrath of spring marches across central Canada and the Atlantic.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said Friday after afternoon that her city had felt it had matters under control until a rainstorm dumping as much as 60 mm of rain on already flooded regions moved in, CTV News reported.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency for similar reasons Thursday, prompting the federal government to send 400 soldiers to help sandbag and aid in relief efforts to small rural communities on the west edge of Ottawa. Late Friday, they were also sandbagging the road to one of the city’s two water-treatment plants, the city said. Another 1,000 soldiers were deployed in Quebec earlier this week and 310 in New Brunswick.
Water regulators estimate the Ottawa River’s level will rise nearly a metre within the next few days, well above its peak in a 2017 flood that was thought to have been a once-a-century event.
The most serious flooding so far is in villages along the Ottawa River outside the downtown core. Ontario Premier Doug Ford visited Friday morning to meet homeowners and help fill some sandbags. He said the government is on “high alert” and has told Ottawa the province will help with whatever is needed.
Several regions in Quebec are affected by flooding, including Gatineau and other communities along the Ottawa River, parts of Montreal and the Beauce region south of Quebec City.
Quebec’s Public Security Ministry is warning that the hydroelectric dam at Bell Falls on the Rouge River in the western Laurentians region has reached its capacity.
Helicopter footage shows the dam at risk of failing:
Officials in Rigaud, Que., about 70 km west of Montreal, ordered evacuations Friday morning.
Provincial officials said 3,150 homes had already been flooded and 1,111 people forced to leave. Another 2,300 homes had been isolated by flooding.
Flooding along the Saint John River in New Brunswick was receding in Fredericton, where parts of the downtown core were underwater this week, but the weekend rainfall is going to reverse that.
Drone video captured Wednesday shows the extent of the flooding in downtown Fredericton. The rising St. John River was expected to peak on Wednesday.
The rising Red River in southern Manitoba has forced some road closures and a small number of evacuations near the community of St. Jean Baptiste. Earlier predictions for major flooding between the U.S. border and Winnipeg haven’t come to pass because of less snowfall than expected in April and a slow spring melt.
Many of the people in the flood zones are feeling a sense of deja vu. The Ottawa River is flooding for the second time in just three years and the Saint John River is over its banks for the second year in a row. Red Cross officials in New Brunswick said Friday 70 per cent of the people asking for flood assistance this year also asked last year.