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Montréal declares a 48-hour state of emergency in response to flooding

7 mai 2017

Montréal, le 7 mai 2017 - Montréal has declared a state of emergency in three boroughs and two reconstituted cities within the agglomeration. Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre announced the decision following an analysis of the flooding taking place, particularly on the western portion of the Island of Montréal. The state of emergency applies to the following areas: Ahuntsic–Cartierville; Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève; Pierrefonds-Roxboro; Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue; and Senneville.

“Montréal is in the middle of an exceptional and historic circumstance owing to an unprecedented rise in water levels causing flooding. The safety of residents remains our biggest priority, and that's why I declared the state of emergency. In doing so, the municipal authority is given emergency powers to make decisions, based on the needs as they evolve on the ground, in regards to evacuations as well as human and financial resources,” said the mayor of Montréal.

The mayor may exercise those emergency powers and declare a state of emergency in the municipality when one of the following conditions is met:

  • The municipality is dealing with a major disaster, real or imminent;
  • The municipality must act immediately to protect citizens' lives, health and integrity;
  • The municipality's civil security plan or regular operating procedures do not allow it to adequately carry out the actions required.

Current weather conditions and forecasts suggest the situation will not be short-lived and will continue to unfold over a period of several days. Water levels in the Rivière des Prairies are expected to rise by 20 cm overnight, according to Environment Canada, which will weaken the dykes, breakwaters and dams set up in key areas to prevent water infiltration. 

“I ask all residents affected by the flooding to collaborate by following the recommendations and abiding by the decisions made now and as we move forward. I strongly urge residents of Île Mercier and other residents whose safety cannot be ensured by emergency services to comply with the evacuation order,” said Mayor Coderre.

First responders from the Centre de sécurité civile, the Service de sécurité incendies de Montréal (SIM), the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and the Canadian Armed Forces are working with municipal personnel to secure the dykes, build more where needed, and closely monitor them. Civil security and Canadian Armed Forces personnel are in constant communication.

According to the most recent data, a total of 180 homes have been evacuated. The Red Cross is assisting and providing temporary shelter to evacuees. The Government of Québec is also offering financial assistance though the ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec website.

The municipal administration wishes to highlight the spirit of solidarity shown by residents throughout this exceptional situation, and reiterates its commitment to provide the required services to residents affected by the flooding. It also wishes to remind residents that municipal employees are working around the clock and are on the ground monitoring the situation as it evolves from one hour to the next.

For further information on the flooding situation, go to the Centre de sécurité civile de la Ville de Montréal website.