The tension was palpable on Sunday in many municipalities in the west of Montreal where the water level, already high, threatens to continue to rise due to the rain expected in the coming days, raising fears of the worst.
“I’m not too worried at the moment, because I can still get my car out of my driveway, but already this morning the water was only halfway up,” said Hanse Tanzer, a resident of Terrasse. -Vaudreuil, pointing to the land in front of his residence.
As in many other streets in his neighborhood of L’Île-Perrot, the water of Lake Saint-Louis had begun to make a breakthrough there between the houses after a first surge last weekend which finally subsided.
Sandbags were placed in front of certain residences around which pumps operated. Residents visibly scalded by the floods of 2017 and 2019 refused to testify to their situation.
Many municipalities were on the alert Sunday in Greater Montreal as heavy rains of up to 35 millimeters were forecast through Monday morning.
In the middle of the day, the Ministry of Public Security (MSP) counted a flood of medium order and 14 of minor order on Quebec territory. Just over a dozen hydrometric stations were then “on watch”.
In Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, in particular, a concrete barrier covered with a plastic sheet held by sandbags had been installed near Godin Park, where municipal employees were busy emptying the river system in view of the next few days, could observe La Presse.
“It’s usually one of the first places where [the floods] start,” says Lester Simpsons, a resident of the area who, along with the other members of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue rugby club, is ready to come and lend a hand. -strong to the authorities with the sandbags.
Sunday, in Montérégie, the city of Rigaud also reported flooding. In Rawdon and Saint-Colomban, in Lanaudière and the Laurentians respectively, entire streets were also flooded.
The spokesperson for Civil Security at the MSP, Joshua Ménard-Suarez, is however reassuring. According to him, the “situation remains under control”, he mentioned in an interview.
“The floods we are currently experiencing are mainly in recurring areas, where year after year, there are floods. Most of them are regular citizens. It’s nothing dramatic,” he adds.
Environment Canada meteorologist Dominic Morin says the 25 to 35 millimeters of rainfall “will add to the vulnerabilities already present on the rivers.”
That said, “the rivers are capable of taking it right now,” recalls Mr. Ménard-Suarez. “We had a first flood peak at the end of last week, but after that the rivers have mostly remained stable, so there is still space,” he explains. .
Quebec nevertheless monitors “very closely” the regions of Outaouais, Laurentides, Lanaudière and Montreal. “We are looking more specifically at the Ottawa River watershed, which is a little more fragile as we speak,” said the spokesperson for Civil Security.
Environment Canada advises people who are in vulnerable areas or who are isolated “to be prepared with at least an emergency kit in case you need it.” If the situation becomes too risky, you must “leave your home” as soon as possible, remind the federal authorities.