Quebec updates flood zones, removing 30 municipalities from construction freeze

The new maps scale back areas of Montreal's West Island which had been covered by the freeze, removing Dollard-des-Ormeaux entirely.

New map scales back areas of West Island deemed 'special intervention zones'

Some cars in Pierrefonds have had to be removed from flood waters several feet high. (CBC)

Quebec has revised its provincewide map of flood zones after some municipalities were besieged by angry residents demanding to know why their homes were suddenly included in so-called "special intervention zones," even though they are above the high water level.

The map of flood zones, released last month, affected 813 Quebec municipalities, but after the provincial government consulted with municipalities about the map's inaccuracies, the updated version now affects just 783 municipalities.

Any homeowner whose property sustained more than 50 per cent flood damage in 2017 or 2019, as well as homes designated as being at high risk of flooding, can no longer get a permit to do repairs to their home, as of a decree issued on June 17.

That left 120,000 homes subject to the freeze on construction permits.

With the latest revisions, some 20 per cent of those 120,000 homes are no longer designated as inside the special intervention zones.

On the island of Montreal, Dollard-des-Ormeaux was removed entirely from the zone, as were other parts of Montreal's West Island.

Some areas along the island's shoreline, notably in Pierrefonds–Roxboro, remain inside the special intervention zone.

Use the slider below to see how the zones changed in Baie-d'Urfé and Beaconsfield. The new map can be seen in its entirety here.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Andrée Laforest said the maps were created by including areas flooded in 2017 and 2019 and by using historical data of zero-to-20-year flood zones (where the chance of flooding each year has historically been greater than five per cent).

In a statement, Laval Mayor Marc Demers said he was happy with the changes, and they now better reflect "the reality in Laval."

The government held consultations across the province earlier this month about making revisions to the new maps. More than 5,000 people participated.

Laforest told reporters that the province must act rapidly to address flooding in the province, but it must also try to accommodate those who are trying to renovate their homes that were damaged by flooding this year.

With files from Radio-Canada