Floods drive nearly 1,900 from homes in Canada’s Quebec


MONTREAL (AP) — Flooding caused by unusually persistent rainfall has driven nearly 1,900 people from their homes in 126 municipalities in the Canadian province of Quebec, authorities said Sunday.

The Canadian military said in a release that approximately 800 additional soldiers were deployed in Quebec on Sunday, joining more than 400 troops already assisting with the flood effort in the province. Ontario also saw flooding.

One of the hardest-hit towns is Rigaud, west of Montreal. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. said evacuation was mandatory in some areas and firefighters were going door to door to make sure people left their homes.

Montreal became the latest Quebec city to declare a state of emergency after three dikes gave way in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, in the north end of the city by the Rivieres des Prairies.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said about 220 people had been moved from their homes. He said officials were prepared to remove people if they refused to comply with evacuation orders.

Canadian Armed Forces Capt. Frederick Lavoie was overseeing 35 army reservists bagging sand and helping to save houses along the river in Pierrefonds.

West of Montreal, the small town of Rigaud issued a mandatory evacuation order and a state of emergency had been in place for several days. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. told reporters that firefighters would be going door to door to make sure people moved out.

Some federal employees were being advised not to go to work Monday because of the flooding.

Officials said federal buildings in Gatineau, Quebec, would be closed, and employees who normally get to their offices via the interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region were being asked not to go to their offices.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said no other province had so far requested military help, but forces personnel, including reserves, were on stand-by across the country.

The situation in Ontario seems to be “generally stabilizing,” although there are many unstable local circumstances, he said.