State of local emergency in Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval due to flooding; Sherbrooke at risk

By The Canadian Press

A town near Quebec City has declared a state of local emergency due to rising water levels, as heavy rain over many parts of the province has communities on alert for flooding.

The mayor of Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval announced the state of emergency Tuesday, after officials in the town ordered the evacuation of more than 200 homes late Monday due to flood risk.

Environment Canada has issued rainfall or thunderstorm warnings for several parts of the province, and has warned of possible flooding in low-lying areas.

The province’s flood map shows medium flooding at one monitoring station in the Quebec City area, and minor flooding at nine other stations, including several in the Estrie region.

Preventive evacuations in Sherbrooke

The City of Sherbrooke, 150 kilometres east of Montreal, says it has ordered preventive evacuations for about 144 residences in sectors close to the Saint-François River, and has warned that the number could rise.

On Tuesday, municipal authorities in Sherbrooke reported the river level reached 19-and-a-half feet following heavy rainfall. As a result the river is under the high surveillance of the municipal civil security organization (OMSC).

Authorities report the Île-Marie campground in Sherbrooke, located on the banks of the Saint-François River, as well as the municipal garage have been evacuated. Lanes were closed to traffic, in particular the ramp from boulevard des Grandes-Fourches South towards Galt Street.

The City of Sherbrooke said Tuesday morning it was carrying out the first preventive evacuations in certain streets near the river.

At dawn on Tuesday, Environment Canada issued a rain warning for the Sherbrooke area. The federal agency then forecasted an additional 15 to 25 millimeters of rain by noon on Tuesday.

Sherbrooke’s Saint-Francois River. (Courtesy: Facebook/Ville de Sherbrooke)

Environment Canada says that rainfall, combined with the rainfall already received, was unusually high and could cause flash floods, flooding, landslides and water accumulation on roads.

The Saint-François River flows through many municipalities, including Windsor, Richmond and Drummondville before flowing into the Saint-Lawrence River.

Cookshire-Eaton, just east of Sherbrooke, also announced it was evacuating several streets near the Eaton river, which spilled its banks overnight.

—This report by La Presse Canadienne was translated by CityNews

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