Montreal, Laval declare states of emergency over flooding

Both Montreal and Laval declared states of emergency on Sunday amid rising floodwaters caused by days of steady rainfall. Canadian Forces have dispatched 1,200 troops to the province to help.

Bridge on Highway 20 closed between Île-Perrot and Montreal due to water accumulation

A Pierrefonds family is helped from their home on Sunday following flooding along the Rivière Des Prairies. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)


  • Transports Québec closes the Galipeault Bridge between Montreal and Île-Perrot
  • Montreal, Laval declare states of emergency
  • Rigaud orders evacuations
  • 1,200 troops dispatched to help with flooding
  • 3 dikes breached in Pierrefonds

Both Montreal and Laval declared states of emergency on Sunday amid rising floodwaters caused by days of steady rainfall.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said the order gives the city the power to more effectively and quickly address the situation. There will be mandatory evacuations in some areas, Coderre said. 

"This is an historical moment," he told a news conference. "The most important thing for me is to help the people, help the citizens."

The state of emergency targets:

  • Pierrefonds-Roxboro.
  • Île Bizard-Saint-Genevieve.
  • Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
  • Sainte-Anne de Bellevue and Senneville.

Heavy rain over the weekend could mean further flooding in the coming week and the area under state of emergency in Montreal could be expanded.

In Montreal, 179 residents have been evacuated from their homes. The flooding has also forced Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Ahuntsic to transfer 86 patients to a mental health hospital in Rivières-des-Prairies. 

This comes as Transports Québec was forced to close several roads on Sunday night — including the Galipeault Bridge, a major artery that connects Île-Perrot to the island of Montreal — due to water accumulation.

Pierrefonds from above as flooding continues on Sunday, May 7

5 years ago
Duration 0:52
This is what Pierrefonds looks like from above as flooding continues on Sunday, May 7. Submitted by Dominic Leduc.

Several municipalities declare state of emergency 

Neighbouring Laval also declared a localized state of emergency. The city said 33 residents have been forced from their homes because of water as of Sunday afternoon. 

Laval Mayor Marc Demers said the state of emergency would give them the power to remove people if they were at risk, but it would be used with prudence. 

"It's an exceptional power that must be used with a lot of caution," said Demers. "But in certain cases it can be used. Our priority is the security of people."

The state of emergency targets several areas of the city including:

  • Laval-West.
  • Fabreville.
  • Laval-sur-le-Lac.
  • Sainte-Rose.

Demers added 400 blue collar workers were dispatched to help residents on Sunday to help residents who have flooded or were at risk.

A state of emergency was also declared in Pincourt, Saint-Eustache and Terrasse-Vaudreuil, as well as Rigaud, where firefighters have been going door-to-door Sunday afternoon telling residents to leave their homes.

Two men carry some belonings along a flooded street in the town of Rigaud west of Montreal. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

The Canadian Forces, meanwhile, announced it would add more troops to the province as residents struggled to keep water out of their homes.

There will be 1,200 troops on the ground by the end of Sunday, up from 400 last night, authorities said in a Sunday morning briefing.

More than 100 municipalities affected

Across Quebec, 146 municipalities are now considered part of flood zones, and the number of homes affected is in the thousands.

The worst-hit communities include those in western Quebec, such as Rigaud, Gatineau, and Hudson, and all along the the north shore of the Lake of Two Mountains, including Oka and Kanesatake. 

"I'm heartbroken. This is so sad," said Pina Bissi, a single mom who lives with her son and dog on Dieppe Street in the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, where three dikes were breached overnight.

"What are these families going to do? What am I going to do? I'm next. What am I going to do?" 

Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for several areas in the west of Quebec as well as an unseasonably cold frost warning that could see temperatures drop below freezing and snowfall in higher terrain across southern Quebec.​

Flooding across the province

One of the hardest hit areas in the province is the region of Mauricie, where​ homes are flooded and residents are being forced from their homes.

Canadian Forces have been on the ground since Saturday night to provide assistance to the municipalities of Maskinongé, Yamachiche, Nicolet and Louiseville.

Quebec public security is also monitoring Highway 155 near La Tuque as water continues to rise.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, left, and 'Île Bizard Mayor Normand Marinacci walk through the flooded streets of Île Mercier earlier this week. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

The flooding appears to be easing in Eastern Quebec, where a storm surge warning has been called off for Percé. Water levels remain high, but the the small city near the tip of the Gaspé peninsula seems to have been spared from washouts.

Environment Canada warns that residents in low-lying areas may see some flooding.

With files from Laurène Jardin, Kate McKenna and Marilla Steuter-Martin


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