Bracing for spring flooding; Rigaud residents told to evacuate

Flooding in 2017

With rain in the forecast for the next few days, a number of Quebec cities and towns are on high alert preparing for spring flooding.

Officials spent the day in Ahuntsic Cartierville, Pierrefonds Roxboro and Ste Anne de Bellevue going door to door explaining to residents how to protect their homes in case of rising water levels.

"Right now the forecast does lead us to believe that the water level may rise by the weekend, but it's an evolving situation," says Richard Liebmann, deputy director of the Montreal fire department.

Pierrefonds Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis says sandbags are ready to be handed out if necessary, but the Mayor stresses the situation is different than 2 years ago.

The borough has built up dikes to prevent flooding, installed water walls  and improved storm sewers and communication systems.

" And so we're much further ahead than we were two years ago," Beis tells CTV Montreal.

Off island in Rigaud and Pointe-Fortune, emergency measures are in place and officials plan to make the rounds Thursday urging affected residents to leave for higher ground.  In a statement, Rigaud said it expects this year's flooding to be more severe than in 2017 when it had to declare a state of emergency. 

The municipality of Terrasse-Vaudreuil is also warning shoreline residents to prepare for flooding and is preparing to give out sandbags.

Historic spring flooding in 2017 forced hundreds of Quebecers from their homes.

In Montreal, the city tells residents concerned about flooding or looking for additional information to contact the city at 311.