Huntingdon area floods as Châteauguay River overflows

The banks of the Châteauguay River in Huntingdon, Que., have been breached, causing minor flooding on roads and low-lying areas surrounding the river as ice and snow on the river continue to melt.

With more rain expected in next 72 hours, minor flooding could get worse

Web exclusive: Ainslie files from the flood


7 years ago
CBC Montreal reporter Ainslie MacLellan describes the flooding in Huntingdon, Que. 0:52

The banks of the Châteauguay River in Huntingdon, Que., have been breached, causing flooding on roads and low-lying areas as ice and snow on the river continue to melt.

Giant ice floes freed by warmer climes have been seen travelling the river and causing some flooding between Ormstown and Ste-Martine. The communities are location southwest of Montreal.​

Ste-Martine mayor Éric Brault told CBC Radio Noon on Friday that members of the local fire department prepared and delivered about 450 sandbags to residents earlier this week as the river swelled. 

He said that although it may in the end prove unnecessary, an excavation truck was on call to help unblock possible ice jams.

“We’re having ice jams about four kilometres west of the downtown. We’re waiting for the ice jam to break. As soon as this ice jam is free, we’ll be safe,” he said. The excavator will be used if the ice jams do not free themselves.

River threatens to cover Huntingdon bridge

CBC Montreal reporter Ainslie MacLellan spent some time in Huntingdon on Friday afternoon. She said fields there were flooded, with people using various watercraft to get around.

The Châteauguay River's water level is threatening to wash out the main bridge in town. (Ainslie MacLellan/CBC)

“I’m standing in the driveway of a family home. It’s almost like being in an island in the middle of a giant lake. We actually had to get into a pickup truck to be able to make it here,” she said while reporting from Huntingdon.

The main bridge through town is under threat of being covered by water, as well, with the water level hovering just a few centimetres below the road.

The flooding there is so far limited to fields and roads, but local authorities are holding their breath as severe flood warnings continue in the Montérégie region, as well as the Eastern Townships and the central Quebec region.

More rain is expected this weekend and civil protection authorities predict the situation could worsen in the next 72 hours.

Pilsen Pub floods every spring

In the Eastern Townships, the popular Pilsen Pub in North Hatley has water up to its lower windows. The nearby Lake Massawippi's water level has risen a metre over the past week.

Pilsen Pub in North Hatley closed its ground floor after water began pouring into the ground level, but continues to operate the upper-level dining room and kitchen. (Radio-Canada)

"At this point we’ve got two to four inches of water inside the pub, depending on where you're at in the pub," said owner Patrick Lajoie.

Lajoie said the upper level of the pub — which houses a dining room and the kitchen — was still in operation, and that he felt pretty prepared for whatever the floods may bring, since the bar floods every year during the early spring.

He said the pub was built with pumps in the floor for occasions such as these.

There has already been some minor flooding this week in the Carignan region on Montreal's South Shore, as well as in St-Clet, southwest of Montreal.

Earlier this week, about 100 homes in St-Clet were evacuated, although residents were for the most part able to return a day or two later.​

Radio-Canada's interactive map of areas on flood watch (in French):