First responders help a resident after a dike broke causing widespread flooding and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate in Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Que., Saturday, April 27, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

Broken Quebec dike forces hundreds of evacuations northwest of Montreal

A dike broke in Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Que., forcing the evacuation of 5,000 residents

Quebec’s premier is telling residents in waterlogged areas of the province that they face a few more “difficult” days ahead and to “have courage” until the flood threat eases.

Francois Legault made the comment Saturday afternoon, just hours before a dike broke in Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Que., forcing the evacuation of 5,000 residents living along the shore of Lake of Two Mountains.

Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec provincial police said the water rose so quickly that totally submerged cars could be seen Sunday morning, and the water was at the level of ground-floor windows in some homes.

He said in some cases rapid action was needed to save lives, but he did not provide details. Police used an amphibious vehicle for some of the rescues. There were no reports of injuries or missing people.

READ MORE: More rain forecast for flood-weary communities in Ontario, Quebec, N.B.

Roughly 2,600 homes on about 50 streets in the town northwest of Montreal had to be evacuated when the dike broke as families were sitting down to supper.

On Sunday morning, more than 200 police officers were on site and Canadian Forces soldiers were providing help, with evacuees being sheltered in the arena in neighbouring Deux-Montagnes.

Legault noted Saturday that swollen rivers south of Quebec City are finally receding, however, he said water levels in the corridor along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers between Montreal and the boundary with Ontario weren’t expected to peak before Monday or Tuesday.

In the Ottawa area, where hundreds of troops have been deployed to help hold back the still-rising floodwaters, officials put out a call Saturday for more volunteers to pack and stack sandbags.

The flooding also forced the closure of a bridge linking Ottawa and Gatineau. In a statement Saturday, Public Services and Procurement Canada announced that the Chaudiere Bridge would be closed to all pedestrians and vehicles starting at 6 a.m. Sunday, with traffic being redirected to the nearby Portage Bridge.

Also on Saturday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau banned marine navigation in several areas, including a stretch of the Ottawa River between Ottawa-Gatineau and the Carillon generating station, as well as on Lake of Two Mountains, Riviere-des-Mille-Iles and Riviere-des-Prairies.

“To address an urgent situation, today I issued an order to prohibit navigation in specific areas of flooding in order to protect the safety of residents and help first responders to do their jobs,” Garneau said in a statement.

Anyone caught breaking the ban, which applies to all non-emergency vessels, faces a fine of up to $5,000.

Meanwhile, in central Ontario’s cottage country officials said water levels were up slightly due to rain on Friday, but they were hopeful some late-season snow would act as a sponge and help slow the flow of water into lakes, rivers and streams.

The best news comes from southern New Brunswick, where the forecast calls for floodwaters to slowly recede in most areas over the next five days.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission could lose $2 million in revenue

COVID-19 having a big financial impact on residents and the district

HISTORY: How did Mission cope with the Spanish flu

In 1918, a different world-wide pandemic was being dealt with

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry hails work done to halt outbreak, which saw more than 130 people contract COVID-19

Man who broke into Abbotsford post office receives four more months in jail

Gary Patrick Richard sentenced for break-in and mail theft from April 20

Chilliwack teachers and EAs concerned with health and safety plans

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read