Troops deployed as Canada braces for worse flooding
OTTAWAWaterlogged parts of eastern Canada were hit with more rain early on May 7, as freshly deployed troops helped evacuate residents ahead of peak flooding expected in the coming days.
Torrential rains combined with runoff from melting snow have caused rivers to overflow their banks, posing a critical situation from Ottawa to Montreal.
The worst is yet to come, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard warned on May 6.
“The water will continue rising over the next two or three days,” he said after visiting the town of Rigaud, east of Montreal, which has been flooded for more than a week.
Water levels continued to rise across an area of some 500 kilometers, from Toronto and Lake Ontario and stretching downstream along the St Lawrence River.
The flooding was especially bad in Quebec province, where some 400 troops have been dispatched.
“Our troops are responding quickly and professionally and are already beginning to deliver critical support to Canadians affected by the flooding,” Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said.
Emergency services warned that rising waters would reach regions east of Montreal, where precipitation by could reach between 90 and 125 millimeters.
“The ground, already near saturation, has little ability to absorb further rainfall,” Environment Canada said in a weather alert for the region.
“Even shallow, fast-moving water across a road can sweep a vehicle or a person away. Don’t approach washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts. Consider moving valuable items to higher levels.”
Near the Atlantic, the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization warned residents to remain on alert until Monday, saying water levels are near or above flood stage in many regions and expected to rise.