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Summer storms raise flood risk, force evacuations in Quebec

Some municipalities in Quebec have ordered preventive evacuations due to fears heavy rains could cause flash floods. 

80 to 120 millimetres of rain to fall by end of Tuesday.

bridge with water rushing

Officials ordered the evacuation of some 220 homes in Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval, Que., near Quebec City, amid fears that heavy rains and rising water levels could lead to flash flooding.

City manager Marc Proulx says 70 millimetres of rain fell over a few hours north of the town and that the water level of the Montmorency River is rising rapidly and the evacuation was ordered to ensure residents can leave safely.

Joshua Menard-Suarez, a public security department spokesperson, says several parts of southern and central Quebec are being monitored for possible flooding and landslides.

Residents of Saint-Léon, île Enchanteresse, des Remous Street, Saint-Georges Street and des Deux-Rapides Street were also ordered to evacuate their homes.

Evacuees are invited to go to the service centre at 175 Kildare Street, where they will be cared for by the Red Cross.

Eastern Townships on high alert

Heavy rainfall in the Eastern Townships since Monday afternoon put Sherbrooke’s municipal public safety organization (OMSC) on high alert.

Rain has caused the Saint-François River continued to swell and rise, reaching 5.4 metres on the Aylmer Bridge probe, the OMSC said.

The City of Sherbrooke evacuated the municipal garage near the bank of the Saint-François River. The first citizen evacuations will take place if the river level rises above 6.4 meters.

In the Lac-Brome area, several secondary roads were flooded due to rain, and a culvert was even swept away by the rising waters. For the moment, no evacuations have been carried out in the area.

Rainfall warnings

Environment Canada is forecasting that between 80 millimetres and 120 millimetres of rain will fall in the Quebec City area by the end of the day Tuesday.

The Valcartier-Stoneham, Portneuf, Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans and Quebec areas are still under rainfall warning as of Tuesday morning.

The situation is also being closely monitored in Charlevoix, where spring frost caused historic flooding on May 1.

In the Grands-Jardins and Hautes-Gorges de la rivière Malbaie national parks, trails have been closed due to heavy rainfall over the past few days and in the coming days.

Environment Canada warns that torrential rains can cause flash flooding and water accumulation on roads.

Many areas have already received a lot of water over the past few days or even weeks, limiting their absorption capacity.

With files from Radio-Canada and The Canadian Press

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