Flooding closes schools, bridges, roads on Monday
Flooding throughout southern Quebec took a severe turn for the worse over the weekend after several days of heavy rain.
A dike burst northwest of Montreal, flooding an entire neighbourhood in the town of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac.
Officials said that by late Sunday floodwaters had affected nearly 6,500 homes -- up by 3,000 from the previous day.
The number of people ordered to leave their homes shot up from 2,500 to 9,500 on Sunday.
Another 3,500 houses are in areas that have been cut off because floodwaters have washed over roads.
"We are well aware these are significant numbers," said Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault.
In Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac alone, authorities evacuated 6,000 people from 2,500 flooded houses over the weekend. The town only has 18,000 residents.
Premier Francois Legault said "it was almost a miracle that nobody was hurt."
He said the province was donating $1,000,000 to the Red Cross to help rescue and relief efforts.
While flooding on the island of Montreal is limited, police have created a map to keep drivers up-to-date about road closures.
Montreal, Ottawa and many smaller communities across the expansive flood zone declared states of emergency, prompting the federal government to deploy hundreds of soldiers to help with sandbagging and other relief operations.
Schools closed near broken dike
With travel dangerous on many roads in areas north and west of Montreal, authorities closed schools and offered free train service to commuters.
School board officials said it was too risky to run school buses in Pointe Calumet, Saint Joseph du Lac and Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac after a dike burst over the weekend.
As a result the following six schools are closed on Monday:
- des Grands-Vents
- des Lucioles
- des Perseides (including the Primeveres pavilion)
- du Grand-Pommier
Other schools in those areas will be open but there will be limited or no school bus service because of the broken dike in Sainte Marthe sur le Lac.
Rose des Vents school is open on Monday but there will not be any school buses running.
School buses will not be running in Pointe Calumet, Sainte Marthe sur le Lac, south of Highway 640 in Saint Joseph du Lac or south of Oka Rd. in Deux Montagnes.
On the island of Montreal Saint Gerard elementary in Pierrefonds is closed.
There are no buses available for off-island students who attend Christmas Park, Dorset, Beaconsfield High, and Macdonald High.
Transportation delays are expected at the following Lester B. Pearson schools:
- St Patrick's
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau
- Terry Fox
Free public transit while bridges are closed at Western tip of Montreal Island
The Galipeault Bridge on Highway 20 spanning the river between Sainte Anne de Bellevue and Ile Perrot was closed on the weekend and remained closed on Monday.
As a result the Vaudreuil-Hudson train line is being offered free of charge to all passengers and will remain free until the bridge reopens.
The following bus lines that operate on the island of Ile Perrot are free of charge until further notice: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 21, 31, 33, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 51, and 61.
The provincial government has also cancelled the toll on Highway 30 for all drivers.
With extensive flooding along the Deux-Montagnes train line there is limited parking available at many stations: emergency officials commandeered many spots at the Deux-Montagnes, Ste. Dorothée, and other stations.
Exo is advising commuters to try and carpool to the stations, but to be aware that they may have to park on nearby streets, and that extra spots are available in the Super C parking lot in Deux-Montagnes.
While lanes were closed on the Ile aux Tourtes bridge (Highway 40) over the weekend, all lanes reopened on Monday morning.
Emergency crews built a dike near the bridge over the weekend after the water on the lake rose last week.
The Sureté du Quebec warned the public to expect lengthy delays on Highways 40 and 30 because of the closure of the Galipeault Bridge.
Free train service from Saint Jerome
Heavy flooding in the Mirabel area closed several major roads, including Route 158 (Sir Wilfrid-Laurier) from Saint Simon Rd. to Highway 15, and Route 117 (Curé Labelle Blvd.) from Route 158 and Highway 50.
Exo is offering free train service on the Saint Jerome line until the floodwaters recede and local roads are opened.