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

Just Posted

Yellow Point Ecological Society releases video advocating for the protection of private forests

The group is concerned about the loss of forests in the Yellow Point area

LSS improv program gives students an opportunity to be themselves and entertain others

The Ladysmith Secondary School improv program has planned two weeks of shows for the community

New Sonic the Hedgehog trailer shows off Ladysmith and new character animation

At long last, Sonic the Hedgehog will hit theatres on February 14

Diamond District woman warns against the use of rat poison

At some point between breakfast and lunch Martin had suddenly collapsed and died

Calling all believers: Chemainus Theatre Festival runs Miracle on 34th Street

Opening night is Friday, November 15, and closing is December 29

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Most Read