• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Soulanges flood waters should crest by Thursday


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Flood waters slowly encroaching on Valois Park in Vaudreuil-Dorion, one of the many municipalities being affected by the rising levels in Lake of Two Mountains.

The flood waters that have inundated the shoreline of several municipalities along the Ottawa River including Rigaud, Hudson, Vaudreuil-Dorion and Terrasse-Vaudreuil since last Friday are expected to peak by this Thursday, said Patrick Bousez, Prefect of the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette.

Bousez made the announcement during a press conference at MRC headquarters on Monday afternoon, April 22.

“This is the information we’ve been given but we really can’t tell. The only good news we have is we don’t expect we will reach the same flood level as we did in 2017, but we really don’t know,” Bousez told The Journal.

Rain forecast for Wednesday

“There could be a really big storm up north and that could bring a lot of water down here. We have to prepare as if it could happen. We have to prepare as if it was 2017,” said Boussez. Environment Canada is calling for showers in the region from Tuesday evening into Wednesday which could exacerbate the flooding situation.

Flooding could also worsen depending on weather conditions and snow melt in the north of the province. “All the waterways from a 150,000 square-kilometre area in the north flows into our region,” said MRC Communications Director Simon Richard.

Northern snow and rain also has an impact

“When we say the snow is melting in Abitibi where there are still places that have a metre of snow, when in melts it all comes down into Vaudreuil-Soulanges. It’s also all the rain in Abitibi that affects us too. It can rain there and 48 hours later it’ll flow down here which is why it’s so hard to predict what the water level will be for our territory,” said Richard.

The 2017 flood taught the municipalities that they can’t let their guard down, said Bousez. “The flooding started with a first wave and then it went down. Then it suddenly came back and it stayed for a couple weeks. You never know what can happen,” he said.

MRC coordinating flood relief

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges Prefect Patrick Bousez said the MRC is busy coordinating relief efforts to the several municipalities affected by flooding along the Ottawa River and its tributaries.

The MRC is busy coordinating relief efforts to the several municipalities affected by flooding. “We’re taking care of any needs that they have. We’re dispatching volunteers to where they’re needed and we’re also providing other resources including sandbags,” said Bousez.

At least two small municipalities – Terrasse-Vaudreuil and L’Île-Cadieux – have been seriously affected by the flooding along their shorelines. “They have no manpower. They’re small towns. They need help. We’re taking care of them and every other municipality that needs help. It’s nice to see the solidarity that has developed. Everybody wants to help each other. It’s really special to see,” Bousez added.

Personal safety number one priority

While Bousez says he understands people’s concern for their homes and personal property, he stressed that people’s number one priority is to make sure they stay safe at all times.

“We’re lucky no one has been injured or died so far but you never know what can happen,” said Bousez. “Our main goal is to make sure our citizens stay safe.”

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