Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

More than 400 soldiers helping with Quebec floods

The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have been dealing with the fallout of heavy spring rainfall this week, and local authorities advised the residents of some communities to evacuate their homes.

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.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said emergency teams are on alert, and government officials were keeping a close eye on the situation province-wide.

Atlantic Canada is also expected to be hit with more rainy weather Friday night and into the weekend.

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On Friday, Quebec public security minister Martin Coiteux announced that 61 Quebec municipalities, including Montreal, Hudson, Île-Perrot and Vaudreuil-Dorion, had been added to the list of those eligible for the the province's disaster aid program, which the ministry described as "last resort" source of financial assistance for residents and municipalities that suffered flood damage not covered by insurance.

"That's why I spoke today to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and asked for reinforcements from the Canadian Forces".

"The amount of moisture is significant", he said of the situation.

In Quebec, more than 1,500 homes are flooded and 340 roads affected by rising water levels.

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"We've been abandoned", he said. "We stand ready and willing to give whatever help the federal government can to help people through this situation".

At 4:19 a.m. the federal agency issued a rain warning for the areas of Chateauguay-La Prairie, Laval, Longueuil-Varennes and Montreal Island predicting that, "Rain, at times heavy, is expected", and that the "ground, already near saturation, has little ability to absorb further rainfall".

Environment Canada has posted special weather statements for most of Nova Scotia, warning of 50 to 100 millimetres of rain through the weekend while southwestern New Brunswick can expect around 50 millimetres of rain and northwestern areas may receive 20 to 30 millimetres.

"We are very aware of the situation around the province and monitoring it very, very closely", she said.

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