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

District of Kent reopening facilities to the public

Enhanced COVID-19 protocols in place throughout

Pedestrian struck in late-night collision on Highway 1 in Hope

RCMP were on scene at the incident near Flood Hope Road where traffic was rerouted for eight hours

District of Kent Council: Additional Notes

Further agenda items from the May 25 meeting

Police say Chilliwack driver who flipped car on overpass Sunday was impaired

Witnesses say rollover incident was preceded by vehicle and motorcycles speeding all over town

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

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read