Unrelenting rain worsens flood crisis in saturated Central Canada

By on May 6, 2017


More than 130 communities in the province have been hit by flooding, with some 700 people forced to abandon their homes, but rainfall advisories have been lifted for Montreal and Toronto early Saturday. (Photo: Connormah/ Wikipedia)
More than 130 communities in the province have been hit by flooding, with some 700 people forced to abandon their homes, but rainfall advisories have been lifted for Montreal and Toronto early Saturday. (Photo: Connormah/ Wikipedia)

Unrelenting rain is pushing water levels across much of Central and Eastern Canada ever higher, though major cities in the affected regions appear to have missed the worst of the storm.

More than 130 communities in the province have been hit by flooding, with some 700 people forced to abandon their homes, but rainfall advisories have been lifted for Montreal and Toronto early Saturday.

Elsewhere in Quebec, along the Gaspe Peninsula, Environment Canada warns up to an additional 100 millimetres could fall.

Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel said on Friday that rain in the province is forecast to reach historic levels – “beyond the worst scenarios that have occurred in the last 55 years.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised the federal government was ready to do whatever it can to help people deal with the flooding, and the massive cleanup to come.

The Quebec government said Canadian Forces personnel had been enlisted to battle the flood waters, but there was no word on how many soldiers would be involved, or when they’d arrive.

The huge, slow moving weather system is also giving much of southeastern Ontario a severe soaking and has the Maritimes in its sights as well.

To the east of Ottawa the community of Clarence-Rockland declared a state of emergency in anticipation of continuing heavy rain, while across the Ottawa River in Gatineau residents were waging a largely futile struggle to prevent the deluge from engulfing their properties.

Environment Canada warns that some eastern Ontario communities can expect between 40 and 70 millimetres of rain.

The forecast, meantime, calls for up to 100 millimetres of rain this weekend in southwestern New Brunswick and between 25 and 50 millimetres in western Nova Scotia and parts of Labrador.