Ice jam complicating work in flooded Quebec City neighbourhood

The streets of the Duberger-Les-Saules neighbourhood in Quebec City are submerged in at least a metre of water and slush after the nearby St. Charles River overflowed this weekend.

About 60 residents evacuated from 38 homes in Duberger-Les-Saules

Dozens of homes were evacuated in Quebec City as several areas in southern Quebec experienced flooding over the weekend. (Radio-Canada)

A small part of the Duberger-Les-Saules neighbourhood of Quebec City is submerged in at least a metre of water and slush after the nearby St. Charles River overflowed this weekend.

About 60 residents have been evacuated from 38 homes, and authorities say it may take time before they can return.

They say the river is still too high and fast-flowing for them to break an ice jam on it. 

"We can't work," said Michel Therrien, the civil security coordinator for the des Rivières borough in Quebec City. "If we do, we will create another movement [in the river] that will affect 50 to 100 more homes and businesses."

He said the city hoped the river's flow would calm today, so workers could begin breaking up the ice.

A meeting for evacuees is planned for Monday evening. Psychological support is also being offered to those who have had to leave their homes. 

The extreme cold is adding another layer of complication on the third day of a Quebec City neighbourhood's flooding. (Radio-Canada)

One of them, Alain Dusty, said he felt left in the dark about how and when the city would proceed. He says he was told the situation was stabilizing Sunday, but then the water level rose.

"We don't have a lot of information about what's holding them back," Dusty told Radio-Canada. He said they didn't understand why the city hasn't started work to make the water go down.

Quebec City's Duberge-Les-Saules neighbourhood has been flooded since Saturday.

Quebec promises compensation

Early Monday evening, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux visited the area.

He promised that the homeowners who got flooded this month will have access to the same extra compensation package as last spring's flood victims.

"With such extreme temperatures, to see your house flooded, I can understand how people feel," Coiteux said.

"Right in the middle of the winter, this is very exceptional. In this sector, the last time this happened was in '81. But one thing we know is that the weather all over the planet is more extreme."
Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said the January flood victims will have access to a compensation package. (CBC)

A perimeter around the affected area has been up since Saturday.

Heavy rainfall in parts of southern Quebec has caused several waterways to flood adjacent communities. 

The rain was followed by snow and extreme cold, which has made the cleanup complicated and difficult. 

With files from Radio-Canada