The town of Rigaud, near the Quebec-Ontario border, has ordered residents in flooded areas to pack up and leave their homes, but some people are insistent on staying put.
William Bradley is one such resident, who is refusing to vacate his home despite a mandatory order from the municipality.
“It would be easy to leave,” he said. “I don’t think it’s necessary.”
Bradley’s wife, on the other hand, has opted to leave now that water has seeped into the couple’s basement.
“The water tunnelled under the sandbag wall and got into the basement,” Bradley explained.
“It was just redone too,” he added.
Watch drone footage of the flooding in Rigaud, Que.:
He says as long as his street is still passable, he doesn’t see a reason to leave.
“You can walk on it. It’s tricky, there’s currents,” he said, referring to the several feet of water in front of his house.
“It’s like walking through pudding because of the current,” he said.
He adds that his neighbours have been using a canoe to transport sandbags to and fro.
Rigaud, a municipality of about 7,600, issued mandatory evacuation orders to certain residents earlier this week.
Stay at your own risk, says town
On Saturday, Rigaud Fire Chief Daniel Boyer said that 172 homes in the evacuation zone are still occupied.
“Often the wives and children have left and it’s the husband who stays to defend the home,” he said. “It’s their decision to stay, but at their risk and peril.”
Even though the evacuation is mandatory, the town has said it won’t be forcing residents to leave, meaning if people choose to stay, authorities cannot guarantee their safety.
“We have people who are fighting hard against the elements right now,” he said.
Boyer emphasized the risk homeowners are taking on themselves, saying that it will be difficult to get emergency vehicles out to flooded homes without some delays.
Water levels in the town 30 kilometres west of Montreal have not yet reached 2017 flood levels, and Environment Canada is predicting only periods of light rain until Tuesday.
Along with city workers and members of the Armed Forces, Quebec provincial police are patrolling flood areas to make sure no empty homes are robbed or looted.
Whether on not they choose to evacuate their homes, Rigaud residents are being advised to turn off all electricity where water can get in and secure propane tanks.
1,795 evacuated across the province
Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said Saturday that her office is monitoring water levels across the province and that she’s particularly concerned about Rigaud and neighbouring Pointe-Fortune.
Across the province she said there are currently 3,050 flooded homes and 1,795 people have been evacuated, as of Saturday morning.
Guilbault said the situation is under control in the Mauricie region, the Centre-du-Québec region, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches. The situation has also stabilized in the Beauce.
The municipality of Vaudreuil-Dorion declared a 48-hour state of emergency Saturday, as a result of flooding from the Outaouais river.
A state of emergency is also in place on the island of Montreal. The state of emergency gives the city the power to seize land, order mandatory evacuations and put in place other flood prevention measures.
This story originally appeared on CBC