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Quebec public safety warns of landslides after flooding

As spring flooding continues in Quebec, public safety officials are asking citizens to pay particular attention to landslides as about 100 municipalities are affected by flooding, particularly in areas north of the St. Lawrence River, from the Outaouais to the Quebec City region.

Increases in river flows and levels following the rainfall of the last few days have flooded nearly 1,000 homes and isolated about 3,000, according to the latest information sent to the Ministry of Public Safety by the municipalities.

Dry weather is expected in many areas over the next few days, "which will help the situation to improve," said Public Safety spokesperson Joshua Menard-Suarez, but he cautioned that "one of the difficult issues to monitor and control is the lack of water."

"One of the hard issues to watch out for and a corollary of flooding is landslides, so it's worth inviting citizens to pay attention to their property if they notice a crack that wasn't there before, or if they actually see a landslide," he said.

Residents who notice a landslide are invited to contact their municipality.

Landslides can be surprising in the sense that you don't know exactly where it's going to happen, so as soon as you see a clue, you should contact your municipality.


Menard-Suarez explained that the next few days will be favourable for a decrease in water levels.

"However, what we are watching more closely in the immediate future is the Ottawa River, the Lake of Two Mountains, the Mille Îles River, the Rivière des Prairies and the river up to Lake Saint-Pierre," he said. "These are rivers where the recession will be slower to take hold, because the larger rivers react more slowly."


A total of 109 municipalities have been affected by the flooding and several, including Baie-Saint-Paul in the Charlevoix region, have declared a state of emergency.

Information sessions open to the public and a temporary office to open financial assistance and compensation claims will be held in Baie-Saint-Paul on Thursday evening at the Luc-et-Marie-Claude Arena.

On Monday, the Rivière du Gouffre burst its banks, causing significant damage in several areas of Baie-Saint-Paul.

Two bodies, presumably those of firefighters reported missing in the wake of the floods, were found Wednesday in Saint-Urbain, Charlevoix.

Several roads are closed to traffic in the region, including Route 132, but heavy vehicles are permitted for local and regional delivery of essential goods.

The Ministry of Transport is asking motorists to 'under no circumstances use a closed road' and to consult Quebec 511 for road conditions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 4, 2023. Top Stories

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