Residents in Quebec town ordered to leave as river water levels rise

Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval, a town north of Quebec City, has ordered residents to leave their homes on Christmas Day due to imminent flooding from a nearby river.

Civil security agencies have been monitoring Quebec’s rivers overnight after an intense weather system brought significant amounts of rain to southern parts of the province.

Saint-Brigitte-de-Laval Mayor Carl Thomassin said water levels for Montmorency, the river located along the city, could be record-breaking. 

“The river water levels are very, very high, and they’re going to keep rising,” Thomassin said. “We’re strongly encouraging people to leave their homes and reach out to the Red Cross if needed.”

“We want this operation to be done calmly, so we decided to take action before it became too late.” 

Around 100 homes were evacuated in the Île Enchanteresse area.

More rain to come

According to city director and emergency measures co-ordinator Marc Proulx, it’s considered a flood when the water level reaches 550 cubic metres per second.

By 1 p.m. ET on Friday, river water levels were at 300 cubic metres per second. 

Proulx said the river could reach over 750 cubic metres per second in the next hours, surpassing its 617 cubic metres per second record.

“The end of the day will be critical,” he said.  

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