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Montreal firefighters race to stem flood waters

May 3, 2017, Montreal - Swollen by two days of heavy rains, the Rivière des Prairies overflowed its banks early Wednesday, forcing dozens of homeowners in West Island Pierrefonds and Île Bizard to hastily barricade themselves from the rising waters.

May 3, 2017 
By The Canadian Press

The flood waters rose so quickly many residents were given little time to prepare and Montreal firefighters and police were called to cordon off flooded locales and help sandbag against further damage.

City of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said Wednesday morning that flooding had been reported in Île Bizard and Pierrefonds-Roxboro but no evacuations or road closures had been necessitated by rising water levels and that no more than a total of 100 buildings on Montreal island were considered at risk from flooding.

“This week we’ve received 50 millimetres of rain, which doesn’t help at all,” he said. “But we’re expecting more rain on Friday so the situation will be worse at the end of the week. But at the moment, things are under control.”

On Tuesday evening, the city received about 30 calls from citizens in need of sandbags.


“But they’re all aware (of the threat),” he said, referring residents living on the island’s riverfront. “They’re used to it.”

The Montreal borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville has also been placed on flood watch and citizens in at risk areas are urged to consult the city’s webpage for tips on what to do before the water gets to your door.

Flooding also effected other riverfront sectors in the province, including Gatineau, Outaouais, the South Shore, as well as the Lanaudière region. Transport Quebec reported several roads in the flooded areas had been closed.

Meanwhile, Quebec’s Mauricie region is also on flood watch as the waters of the Saint-Maurice river continue to rise.

Water levels are expected to continue to rise until Thursday, however Environment Canada is predicting heavy rains in many regions of Quebec for Friday and Saturday.

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