Sandbagging efforts in high gear in Quebec, New Brunswick flood zones


MONTREAL — More than 600 Canadian soldiers have fanned out across Quebec, filling and stacking sandbags as officials warn that flood waters are likely to keep rising this week due to warming temperatures that contribute to snowmelt and ice movement.

Urgence Quebec said yesterday that five major floods were threatening thousands of Quebecers, that 1,280 residences across the province had been flooded and that more than 1,500 people had left their homes.

As he toured a flood zone in the Laval area Sunday Premier Francois Legault noted that many home owners were still repairing damage caused by record flooding in 2017. He also suggested that Quebecers whose homes are repeatedly flooded may eventually be forced to move.

Meanwhile, about 120 Canadian soldiers have been deployed across western New Brunswick where 15 communities remain on flood alert.

Rising water has forced the closure of at least 35 roads in the province and Premier Blaine Higgs has urged residents to do what they can to protect their families and property.

Officials said flooding is expected this week in an area between Fredericton and Saint John as the Saint John River breaches its banks.

Residents have been warned to stay away from the river because the water is very cold, the current is strong and there is plenty of debris scattered among the ice chunks.

Canadian Forces personnel reinforce a dike against the rising flood waters in Laval, Que., on Sunday, April 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz