Canadians fight floods across the country
Across the country, thousands of Canadians are spending the weekend in a desperate struggle with rising floodwaters caused by unusually persistent rainfall.
More than 400 Canadian Forces personnel were deployed to western and central Quebec on Saturday as high water continued to threaten hundreds of residences, including some in the Montreal area.
More than 130 Quebec communities have been hit by flooding, with an estimated 1,500 homes affected and 850 people forced to evacuate.
Premier visits flooded area
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard visited the flooded Montreal-area community of Rigaud yesterday and urged people to heed authorities if they recommend they leave their homes.
In Gatineau, Que., near Ottawa, around 400 people have been forced out of more than 200 homes as the Ottawa River rises.
- Quebec enlists Canadian Forces in fight against rising floodwaters
- From CBC Montreal: Quebec received more rain last night than the whole month of May 2016
- From CBC Ottawa: More Gatineau residents leaving homes as they await flood relief from military
In the eastern Ontario, a heroic sandbagging effort failed to prevent dozens of homes in the village of Cumberland from being flooded.
The Ontario community of Clarence-Rockland declared a state of emergency in anticipation of continuing heavy rain.
Electricity was cut off on one road where a house was floating away, tethered only by power lines, the town’s mayor, Helen Collier, said Saturday.
Lake Ontario’s water levels are the highest they’ve been since 1993.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said city officials are monitoring the conditions on the Toronto Islands. Homes on Ward’s Island are “potentially in jeopardy” if more rain falls, he said.
- From CBC Toronto: Mayor says homes on Toronto Islands ‘potentially in jeopardy’
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick is the hardest hit, with 100 millimetres of rain falling in some areas in just two days — and Environment Canada warns there’s more to come.
New Brunswickers are being told to stay away from rivers, streams and tributaries as the rain continues to fall across the province.
The province’s Emergency Measures Organization says waterways are extremely dangerous as levels are high, fast and cold, and could be carrying debris.
They say the banks of waterways are also unstable and anyone who gets too close is at risk of being swept away. Residents are also being told to watch out for washed-out roads as the rain continues to fall across the province.
From CBC New Brunswick: Heavy rain worsens flood conditions
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were expected to be hit with 30 to 40 millimetres overnight Saturday.
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In British Columbia, rain combined with warm temperatures that have accelerated the melting of the snowpack have resulted in flooding and mudslides throughout the province.
Two people are missing in the province and dozens of homes have been evacuated.
The City of West Kelowna declared a local state of emergency Saturday due to flooding, leading to the evacuation of some residents.
Dozens of properties north of Kelowna were also under an evacuation order due to flooding, while sections of the Trans-Canada Highway near Salmon Arm and Glacier National Park were closed due to mudslides.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark was in Cache Creek late Saturday morning to survey part of the damage. A search for that town’s missing fire chief, feared swept away by flood waters, has resumed.
Mounties say Cassidy’s vehicle had been found near the bank of the creek where he was believed to be checking on the flow levels as the snowmelt increased risks of flooding.
In the Shuswap area east of Kamloops, a senior is missing after a home was swept away in a mudslide.
The missing man’s family said the 76-year-old was last known to be inside the house that was swept up.
Simon Fraser University earth sciences professor Brent Ward says the recent warm temperatures appear to be causing some worst flooding the region has seen in more than a decade.