Heavy rain and high river levels prompt evacuations in several Quebec communities
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:36 AM -
Milder temperatures and heavy rain have resulted in major flooding across several Quebec communities.
On Tuesday, preventive evacuation orders were issued for about 15 homes in city of Sherbrooke, but by Wednesday hundreds of people were forced from their homes.
Emergency officials say the Saint-Francois River continues to swell and has now reached 7.3 metres, much higher than its normal level of 1.8 metres.
Initially 30 people living near the river were evacuated and then another 100. The swollen river however, has prompted a third evacuation of more than 500 people.
As several rivers overflow their banks across the province, evacuations in multiple locations have been ordered.
According to The Canadian Press, a seniors' residence has been evacuated because of flooding of the Sainte- Anne River in Saint-Raymond, northwest of Quebec City.
About 700 people were evacuated from that same area in 2012 due to flooding.
Homes along the Montmorency River have been evacuated as well as in Trois-Rivieres and in Lennoxville and Weedon in the Eastern Townships south of Montreal.
Authorities in Quebec City say water levels have reached "crisis level" and an emergency preparedness plan is in place.
With files from The Canadian Press