Firefighters recommend some Gatineau residents leave homes due to flooding

Gatineau residents started to evacuate their homes Friday after firefighters warned they are at risk due to intensifying spring flooding that has people in other parts of the Outaouais on edge.

Water levels expected to rise in parts of the Outaouais with more rain expected

Gatineau residents leave homes amid flooding

5 years ago
Duration 1:01
With spring flooding intensifying, some Gatineau residents, including Roger Brulé and Joanne Lacroix, are considering leaving their homes.

Gatineau residents started to evacuate their homes Friday after firefighters warned they are at risk due to intensifying spring flooding that has people in other parts of the Outaouais on edge.

Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said 23 residences on Hurtubise Boulevard were voluntarily evacuated after residents were told of the danger. 

In the city's third flood update, the mayor said the danger should soon pass.

The water level had originally been forecast to rise by 20 centimetres by Saturday morning, he said today's revised forecast suggests the water level should only increase by 5 centimetres.

"The peak should be somewhere between tonight and tomorrow morning. So things look better, as far as the evolution the level of water goes. For many citizens, things are still difficult," Pedneaud-Jobin said.

City staff will remain dedicated to flood response in the meantime, but the mayor said the municipality will not be declaring a state of emergency or ordering a mandatory evacuation.

Elsewhere, homes in the municipality of Pontiac were evacuated Thursday night, and officials declared a state of emergency Friday.

A state of emergency was also declared Thursday in Saint-André-Avellin, about 80 kilometres northeast of Ottawa. 

Roger Brulé, who lives on Hurtubise Boulevard in Gatineau, says he has never seen the river this high in 12 years of living in the area.

He told CBC News that firefighters advised him he should leave his home Friday because it's at risk. He's worried about damage to his house with about 25 centimetres of water now sitting in his garage.

"So far so good because it's up to the cement. If it goes higher than that, the walls are going to get affected," he said from his vehicle. 
A section of Hurtubise Boulevard is closed on Friday, April 21, 2017, after being partially washed out due to flooding. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

Joanne Lacroix says the flooding around her house kept her up all night. She woke up Friday morning to find debris from her neighbours' docks floating in the middle of Hurtubise Boulevard, which is partially washed out.

She is planning to leave her home to stay with another family member in Aylmer.

"This is really, like, incredible. [I felt] stuck because I have two big dogs in my house," Lacroix said. 

"But if the water comes to waist, yes I'm going to say goodbye to my house and go."

The city said a total of 83 buildings were affected by flooding and 4.8 kilometres of the street are too flooded for travel.

On Thursday, the province of Quebec announced 10 municipalities, including Gatineau, will be eligible for emergency funding to help them deal with the spring flooding. 

Pedneaud-Jobin said there will be an information session on emergency compensation Monday evening at the Centre sportif de Gatineau.

Gatineau will be providing another flood update Saturday.

Warnings in eastern Ontario

Meanwhile, the South Nation Conservation agency in eastern Ontario is warning residents in the townships of Alfred and Plantagenet that water levels in the area continue to rise. 

Residents are being advised to stay away from waterways where flows are high and banks might be unstable. 

"Parents are encouraged to explain these dangers to their children," the agency said in a media release issued Friday.