Heavy rain triggers floods

Canada deploys troops to evacuate thousands of residents

Some residents in the Canadian province of Quebec have yet to evacuate despite the authorities urging them to leave, after a combination of heavy rain and runoff from melting snow caused rivers to overflow their banks, causing widespread flooding fro
Some residents in the Canadian province of Quebec have yet to evacuate despite the authorities urging them to leave, after a combination of heavy rain and runoff from melting snow caused rivers to overflow their banks, causing widespread flooding from Ottawa to Montreal. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has warned that the worst is yet to come.PHOTO: REUTERS

MONTREAL • With heavy rain persisting and waters still rising over much of waterlogged eastern Canada, the military has tripled the number of troops urgently working to evacuate thousands of residents.

New evacuations were ordered in Pierrefonds, on the north-western shore of the Island of Montreal on Sunday, after three temporary dikes ruptured, quickly sending water levels higher.

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre declared a state of emergency for his city. "The next 48 hours will be decisive," he told reporters.

A combination of torrential rains and run-off from melting snow has caused rivers to overflow their banks from Ottawa to Montreal, posing critical challenges after weeks of seemingly unending rainfall.

More than 2,000 homes have been flooded in 130 towns and cities, with the authorities urging residents to leave before it is too late.

  • >2,000

  • Number of homes that have been flooded in 130 towns and cities.

The worst is yet to come, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard warned.

Water levels continued to rise across much of an area spanning some 500km, from Toronto and Lake Ontario and stretching downstream along the St Lawrence River.

On the Atlantic coast, the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organisation warned that water levels are near or above flood stage in many regions and expected to rise.

Meanwhile, in British Columbia on the opposite side of the country, the same combination of rain and snow melt has caused flooding and mudslides that left at least two people missing.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2017, with the headline 'Canada deploys troops to evacuate thousands of residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe