1 dead in western Quebec as province remains on flood alert

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1 dead in western Quebec as province remains on flood alert

by - 2 min read

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Authorities remain on high alert for flooding across southern Quebec as waters continue to rise and at least one death has been reported.

A woman was killed early Saturday morning  in Pontiac, Que., about 50 kilometres west of Ottawa, when her vehicle fell into a massive hole created after flood waters washed out a road, Pontiac’s mayor Johanne Labadie said. 

Pontiac and two other municipalities in the Outaouais region, Val-des-Monts and Saint-André-Avellin, declared states of emergency on Friday because of flooding.

Four of five measurement stations along the river between Masson-Angers, Que., about 30 kilometres east of Ottawa, and Aylmer, Que., just west of Ottawa, are at “red level,” meaning buildings are threatened.  

Several streets in Gatineau are underwater, with water levels on the Ottawa River still rising.

The rainfall warning for Montreal was lifted Saturday, but authorities remain on alert for flooding across southern Quebec.

A house in Val-des-Monts in the Outaouais region was surrounded by flood waters on Friday. (Kim Vallière/Radio-Canada)

“The water is going to keep rising, even if the rain has stopped,” cautioned Éric Houde, director of Quebec’s civil security operations.

A significant amount of snow remains on the ground in river basins around the province, Houde said, and the rain and rising temperatures is causing it to melt rapidly, adding more water to already swollen rivers.

“Today water levels will continue to climb, and tomorrow they will continue to climb,” Houde said. “There’s still a lot of snow in these areas.”

Montreal has received around 40 millimetres of rain since Thursday, with the bulk of it — up to 30 millimetres — falling in the last 12 hours until around 6 a.m., said Annabelle Filion, a meteorologist at Environment Canada.

“We anticipate there’s about 5 to 10 millimetres left to fall” on Saturday, Filion said. 

She said the worst of the rain is over for Montreal.

The area around Rigaud, just west of Montreal, is reporting minor flooding as rivers in the area continue to be under watch.

The mayor of the community has already asked people to evacuate their homes because of the high risk of flooding.

Around the West Island of Montreal, the Rivière des Prairies continues to be under surveillance for flooding.

Rainfall warnings remain in place in the Quebec City region and in the Mauricie region, including Trois-Rivières.

For towns west of Quebec City, in Port Neuf and Pont Rouge, there continues to be a risk for flooding. Rivers south of Quebec City in the Beauce region are also under watch.

This story originally appeared on CBC

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