Road and school closures: What you need to know about the floods

While the city of Montreal has been largely spared severe flooding so far, municipalities off-island have been hit by huge amounts of water, with thousands of flooded homes and evacuations across the province.

Thousands of people in Quebec affected by flooding

A couple ride a boat down flooded streets in a neighbourhood in Rigaud, Que. on Monday, April 29, 2019. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

While the city of Montreal has been largely spared severe flooding so far, municipalities off-island have been hit by huge amounts of water, forcing people out of their homes by the thousand over the weekend.

More than 6,000 homes have flooded, and more than 10,000 evacuations carried out as of Monday evening.

Here's what you need to know.

Schools open again

The Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board in Montreal announced that Saint-Gérard primary school in Pierrefonds will finally reopen Wednesday.

The area has been closed to traffic and a release from the Education Ministry said the school would be closed because flood waters could reach part of the school yard.

The Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles school board reopened schools and daycare service Tuesday. However, bus service is limited to areas not affected by the flooding.

Galipeault Bridge closed

Earlier on Saturday, Quebec's Transport Ministry shut the Galipeault Bridge, which connects Montreal to Île Perrot along Highway 20, in both directions.

 It's unclear when the bridge, which crosses over the Sainte-Anne rapids, will reopen. 

Motorists can still take Highway 40 to the north, through Vaudreuil-Dorion to Highway 30 as an alternate route. The tolls on Highway 30 have been cancelled for the time being.

A Transport Ministry spokesperson said the Galipeault Bridge isn't flooded at the moment, but the wind and rain in the forecast is making the situation increasingly unsafe. (Conrad Fournier/Radio-Canada)

A plan is in place to offer free commuter rail service on the Vaudreuil-Hudson and Saint-Jérôme EXO lines. This is expected to continue until the bridge reopens.

A man rows a small boat along a street surrounded by floodwaters on Île-Bizard this weekend. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Ministry keeping close eye on Île-aux-Tourtes bridge

Considering the high water levels from the Lake of Two Mountains, the Transport Ministry is constructing temporary dikes along the approach to the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge.

Crews are building up the sides to prevent the rising water levels from threatening that bridge, but they say the bridge is currently safe and not at risk of closing.

For Monday morning, all three lanes heading into Montreal will be open during rush hour.

More rain in the forecast for Montreal

  • Wednesday May 1: Rain. High plus 5.
  • Thursday May 2: Clouds with breaks. High 12. Sixty per cent chance of showers overnight.
  • Friday May 3: Cloudy with 60 per cent chance of showers. High 13.
  • Saturday May 4: Cloudy with 60 per cent chance of showers. High 16.

State of emergency extended

The island of Montreal and Laval remain in states of emergency, a measure giving authorities the power to seize property and force evacuations. 

So far thousands of people across Quebec have been forced to leave their homes due to encroaching flood waters.

In Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, located just northwest of Montreal, more than 5,000 people had to flee their homes after a 50-metre section of a natural dike holding back the Lake of Two Mountains breached Saturday evening.

Officials also carried out preventive evacuations in some sectors in Pierrefonds and Île-Bizard over the weekend, and authorities in Laval ordered the evacuation of 22 buildings on l'île Verte.


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