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Quebec on official flood watch status

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Official Flood Watch – With temperatures finally on the rise, the spring meltdown begins – and the Ministère de la Sécurité publique Quebec has begun monitoring water levels across the province.

Around Montreal, present water levels are actually lower than normal – and that is good news. But they are keeping a close watch as there is still a significant amount of ice and snow left on Quebec’s rivers and lakes. With warmer weather in the forecast, the meltdown is expected to quickly increase – and what is upriver, will flow downriver.

Rescue workers during fWest Island Flood 2017

Last spring’s flooding, especially in the Rigaud, Île-Bizard and Pierrefonds areas, is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Present indications show it should not be a repeat of last year – but people living in the area are still being advised to be prepared and have emergency supplies ready.

Most of the focus will be on the Carillon dam along the Outaouais River basin where Hydro-Québec produces electricity to power homes in the area, but compared to the last two years there is less snow accumulation. And as long as there is no heavy rain between now and the end of May, flooding should be minimal.

The dam has a normal flow rate of around 4,000 cubic meters per second, but last spring it peaked at close to 9,000 cubic meters and the reservoir was incapable of handling that amount. They had no choice but to open the gates, sending water down the river into Lac des Deux Montagnes at an alarming rate.

In the meantime, should the waters rise to a threatening level, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said the provincial government is far more prepared and has a more effective plan in place to work with municipalities across Quebec.

You can monitor the situation by visiting the Ministère de la Sécurité publique Quebec website page ‘Flood Monitoring of Flow Rates and Level of Several Waterways for the Montreal area (in French only) at: https://geoegl.msp.gouv.qc.ca/adnv2/tableau-region-simple.php?id=6&type_rapport=ADMIN

Feature Image: West Island Flood 2017 Pierrefonds blvd. and St. Jeans

Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca
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