Quebec flooding submerges Île Mercier in Montreal
Evacuations underway in several communities after basements, streets flood
Île Mercier off Montreal's West Island is submerged in water due to heavy flooding that began late last night and continued into Wednesday.
About 100 Quebec municipalities are affected by flooding, including the Outaouais, Quebec City, Mauricie and the Montérégie regions. The provincial government said it is offering financial help to residents affected.
More rain is expected for this weekend across Quebec, with up to 55 millimetres expected to fall between Friday and Sunday.
There are evacuations underway on Île Mercier, a small island that's home to about 50 properties and is located just south of Île Bizard and north of Pierrefonds.
Wednesday afternoon, the City of Montreal also reported the evacuation of Vermont, Roussin, Barabé and Jean-Yves streets in Île Bizard.
The flooding, affecting areas of the island bordering the Rivière des Prairies and the Lake of Two Mountains, comes after one of the wettest Aprils on record in Quebec.
Streets, basements flooded
A dozen West Island streets are covered by water several centimetres deep and a number of basements also were flooded.
Martin Guilbault, chief of operations for the Montreal Fire Department, said the about 30 residences in the flood zone in Montreal's West Island had to be evacuated because water was approaching their fuse boxes.
Pierrefonds resident Mike Markhauser told CBC Montreal's Daybreak that he woke up to the sound of his sump pump running non-stop around 5 a.m. ET. After checking his pump, he went to his window.
"I opened my blinds and saw my neighbour walking around the street, and when I looked out there, there's a river down our street," said Markhauser, who lives on Legault Street.
Markhauser said only a small portion of his property has been flooded and it has not yet reached his home. However, he's watching anxiously as the water continues to crawl closer to his foundation.
He added he is hoping to get sandbags from the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro.
Borough's priority to protect homes
Dimitrios Jim Beis, the mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, said borough employees, firefighters and Montreal police helped residents through the night and will be in the affected areas today.
He added the borough is giving out sandbags to residents in the affected areas. He estimates they've already given out a couple of thousand sandbags over the last few weeks.
- Pierrefonds-Roxboro workers were ordered to destroy sandbags days before flooding
- Quebec communities brace for more flooding as rain begins in force
Beis said the priority is to protect residences.
"We're not out there to protect sheds or pools and all that, we're there to protect the homes if we can," he said.
The borough plans to build up dams at the ends of flooded streets and pump the water back into the river.
Beis said the speed at which the water spilled onto streets and properties from the Rivière des Prairies caught people off guard.
Pierrefonds resident Jade Bélanger said it only took two hours for the water to completely cover De Gaulle Street, which is in front of her house.
This might look like a tranquil marsh, but it's actually René-Émard street in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pierrefonds?src=hash">#Pierrefonds</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/flood?src=hash">#flood</a> <a href="https://t.co/1pr554ARAf">pic.twitter.com/1pr554ARAf</a>—@CBCAinslie
After she noticed the high water Tuesday night, she tried to move her car, but got stuck. Firefighters then pushed her car to drier land.
"We tried to save everything, I tried to save my car," said Bélanger. "The water is all over the place."
Command centres monitoring water levels
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said the city has opened two command centres — one in Pierrefonds and the other in Île Bizard.
He said an emergency shelter is in place for residents of Île Mercier, which is connected to Île Bizard by a small bridge.
The scene in Pierrefonds this morning. Resident surprised by how quickly the water level rose. <a href="https://t.co/z9j5u705bc">pic.twitter.com/z9j5u705bc</a>—@TurnbullJay
Montreal officials are also closely monitoring water levels in Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.
Paola Hawa, the mayor of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, told CBC about 140 homes in that community are at risk from flooding.