Pockets of sand, tarpaulins and pumps… Local residents have prepared to live (again) with floods. The rain of the last two days, less abundant than expected, did not overflow too many rivers in Quebec.
“Last time here, it looked like a houseboat [boat house],” says Becky Donohue, a resident of L’Île-Bizard.
His little house, which looks like a wooden chalet, is surrounded by a wall one and a half meters high. It’s because Becky’s mother and stepfather dread floods like the ones they experienced in 2019 when they had just moved into this rented house.
“My stepfather still has trauma from 2019, that’s obvious. He was super involved in protecting our house and those of the neighbors. Even today, he tries to be prepared. He just bought a new pump and he went up his protective wall again because he wasn’t sure if it was high enough, “says the woman, while her stepfather just went out to buy a hose. compatible with its new pump at the hardware store.
“It advanced two meters, maybe three. If this keeps up, we’re gonna have to move our cars,” Becky Donohue sighed.
The situation could still have been worse. Instead of the 40 mm of rain that was expected in Montreal and the surrounding area, the region only received between 15 and 25 mm on Sunday.
“There is less snow left to melt and the rain, in smaller amounts, has been good news. The level of most rivers remained stable or increased slightly,” explains André Cantin, meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The rain was expected to continue Monday and Tuesday, but in the form of showers. This intermittent precipitation could leave up to 15 mm of water in the Laurentians and Lanaudière, a little less in Montreal, Centre-du-Québec and Mauricie.
The Quebec Ministry of Public Security also confirms that the rain has raised the level of certain rivers, but not in a worrying way. Joshua Ménard-Suarez, spokesperson for the ministry, speaks of a “under control” and “stable” situation.
“In most cases, flooded areas are areas that are flooded on a recurring basis, year after year. So yes, there are some floods, but nothing abnormal, ”said Mr. Ménard-Suarez.
The ministry nevertheless keeps an eye on the rivers in the Outaouais, in the Laurentians, Lanaudière and the greater Montreal area, but nothing indicates that the water levels should increase in an unexpected and drastic way, affirms Mr. Ménard- Suárez.
In Montreal, the City has set up dikes or installed pumps in eight boroughs, including Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, and Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles; Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue did the same. Sandbags have been distributed to the most at-risk residences.
Elsewhere in Quebec, the Rivière du Nord in the Laurentians caused moderate flooding while Lac des Deux Montagnes caused minor flooding in Pointe-Calumet.
Fernando Nobrega was precisely monitoring the level of the Rivière des Prairies, in Sainte-Geneviève, when La Presse saw him scrutinizing the stream. The man is not particularly worried about his home since his land is slightly sloping and his house does not have a basement.
On the other hand, he would not want his neighbors, elderly people, to be flooded again as in 2017 and 2019. Sandbags have also been distributed to the residents of this opulent street, but few have been installed on the dike.
The man also points out that four years earlier, this interview would have taken place with your feet in the water since the river was much higher.
“In 2017, the river looked pretty much like it does today. Then, overnight, the water went to the street,” he says.
However, this scenario should not occur this spring. Fortunately, according to local residents.