Dozens of citizens evacuated and isolated, several roads blocked, a destroyed dam and landslides: Saint-Côme and Sainte-Émélie-de-l’Énergie, in Lanaudière, are still struggling with flooding, forcing the use of emergency state. Authorities are on the lookout for rain expected later in the day.
“The concern is the 10 to 15 millimeters of rain forecast this afternoon,” said Caroline Proulx, minister responsible for the Lanaudière region. Authorities are monitoring the situation closely as snowmelt is still underway in the area.
The rivers are still on the rise in Maskinongé and L’Assomption, adds the minister.
In Sainte-Émélie-de-l’Énergie, Route 131 is still closed. “We only allow emergency vehicles to pass,” explained the mayor of the city, Martin Héroux.
During the day, around 30 citizens were able to access their residences after Monday’s evacuation. A hundred homes remain without electricity and completely isolated, without access to the main road.
“Civil Security is looking for alternative routes to allow people to move around,” Proulx said.
The mine low, Marc Isabelle observes his chalet located very close to the dam which gave way in Sainte-Émélie-de-l’Énergie. The house perched on top of a ravine is in bad shape due to a landslide on Monday. “It deteriorated very, very quickly. This is not good news,” the owner explains.
There was a distance of at least seven feet between the building and the edge of the ravine before the collapse. Now, barely a meter separates the house from the edge of the ravine.
“We don’t think we can live there unless we move it.” But we don’t know if it’s possible,” he explains in dismay. Despite the weather forecast, he believes the worst is behind him. He remains surprised. “In five years here I haven’t seen anything like it. We didn’t think we were at risk. With climate change, snowstorms, melting and rains, we will see more and more people in these situations. »
“Yesterday was a long day,” sighs Marc-André Forget. The resident of Sainte-Émélie-de-l’Énergie has lived near the Black River for two years. He received the evacuation notice from the City on Monday afternoon, like many citizens. But it is better to stay at home to monitor the state of his property, he told La Presse between sips of coffee, his gaze on the six water pumps installed Monday morning.
It’s not the many blocked roads and his waterlogged basement renovation that have Mr. Forget worried and keeping him on his toes. “I’m afraid it will rain more tonight. And there was the landslide right in front of my house,” he said, pointing to the spot in question.
The flow of the Black River has decreased, but the water level remains a concern for Mr. Forget. Several trees threaten to collapse, including a huge conifer. “That tree, if it falls, it lands on my roof,” he said worriedly.
“I would be more anxious if I was away from home wondering if the tree fell. I had planned it, I have provisions for the next two weeks, “he explains.
According to Environment Canada, 15 to 30 millimeters of rain are expected Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. “Showers will be moderate to heavy with a chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon. The quantities are lower than those of the rain event of the last two days. However, this rainfall will create additional stress on already vulnerable waterways. »
The mayor of Saint-Côme, Martin Bordeleau, declared a state of emergency on Monday evening due to flooding. Same story in Sainte-Émélie-de-l’Énergie, where a state of emergency has also been declared due to rising waters. Part of Route 131 is closed. A dam broke, isolating about 300 homes in the area. So far there have been reports of a landslide and about 20 roads being blocked.
“Due to the heavy rains of the past few days, several roads are damaged and in danger of giving way. We ask for your greatest caution during your compulsory trips, ”underlines the municipality of Saint-Côme.
The City suggests that residents avoid Route 347 at Rue de l’Auberge and Côte Jaune, Rang 9, Terrasse Bellevue, Chemin Laporte, Rue du Lac-Émile and Rue du Lac -Guenard. “Many of these roads are already cut off. The victims can take refuge at the Center de Loisirs Marcel Thériault, the municipality said in a press release.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured Tuesday that the federal government will be there to help Quebec. “Obviously we’re going to be there to help if there’s a request. Certainly, it is very serious flooding that we are seeing this year,” he said ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“We’re working closely with the Government of Quebec to support it, but they’re leading the charge and right now they’re telling us they don’t need any more help from the federal government,” said said Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair. But we remain available in case this help is required. Quebec may also apply for reconstruction funds under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program. Nearly three-quarters of the $7.9 billion paid out after natural disasters since 1970 have been paid out in the past ten years, according to the federal Department of Public Security.