Beauceville floods slowly receding, but state of emergency remains

Fallout from Wednesday's major storm continues to affect parts of Quebec, with serious flooding in Beauceville, located south of Quebec City. Residents in Drummondville, Coaticook and Carignan are also dealing with high waters.

Drummondville initiates precautionary evacuations as water levels in St-François River rise

Beauceville, located 90 kilometres south of Quebec City, has declared a state of emergency after an ice jam caused the Chaudière River to overflow its banks. 0:50

Latest

  • Water levels starting to go back to normal.
  • Streets expected to reopen tomorrow.

Civil security officials in Beauceville say the water levels are gradually receding and streets are expected to reopen Saturday after a major storm led to serious flooding.

A state of emergency is still in effect after an ice jam caused the Chaudière River to overflow near the city centre. A number of schools have closed in the area and the town is closed to traffic.

Beauceville is located 90 kilometres south of Quebec City.

Around 50 homes and businesses have been affected by the flooding and 200 people were forced to seek shelter with friends and family. 

The Beauceville Leisure Center is also open to evacuees, but only two people spent the night there.

Residents looking for information or help getting food or medicine can call the local co-ordination centre at 418-774-9137.

Water levels receding

At the peak of flooding late Thursday night, the Chaudière River was about six metres above its normal level. But on Friday afternoon, it has decreased almost one metre, officials said. The ice jam continues to cause problems, however, including water cover on Highway 173.

The town's emergency coordinator, Felix Nunez, said the cold weather isn't helping the situation.

"If it was springtime and the weather was milder, the water flow would be stronger and break up the ice," he said. 

At a news conference Friday, Nunez said emergency excavation work was about to begin along the Chaudière River in a bid to clear the jam.

He also said the town was working with Quebec's Ministry of Transport to deal with ice buildup on roads in the area.

Resident Chantal Arnous, has had a water pump running in her basement since Thursday night, but to little avail. Just about everything she kept in there — furniture appliances, photos and mementos — is a total loss.

"The sewage came in as well, so everything has to be thrown out," she said. "What we're trying to keep, we're disinfecting stuff."

However, she's grateful that no one was hurt by the floods. "Yes it's memories, it's things, they're going to be expensive to replace but at least we're all together, our family's all together."

Precautionary measures in Drummondville

An ice jam on the Saint-François River led officials in Drummondville, Que., to order the precautionary evacuation of a number of waterfront homes due to water and ice on their properties. 

Around 10 properties along the Longue-Pointe Road in Saint-Nicéphor are affected.

Steven Watkins, Drummondville's emergency measures coordinator, said residents can call 819-478-6572 for more information. 

Minor flooding in Coaticook, Carignan

Flooding has also been reported along the Coaticook River in the Eastern Townships. 

Luc Marcoux, the acting mayor of Coaticook, said there were some scary moments yesterday, but luckily the damage was limited. 

"We were quite worried because we had five ice blockages along the river, different distances of course, and they all went in succession, so we got out of it with a minimum damage," he said. 

"So we're quite happy and this morning everything looks much better."

An ice jam also caused the Acadia River to overflow its banks in Carignan on Montreal's South Shore, flooding parts of Salaberry Avenue between Grande Allée Road and Highway 10.

Roads were closed in Carignan after the Acadian River overflowed its banks. (Radio-Canada)

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