• James Armstrong

Sûreté du Québec responds to flood crisis in Rigaud

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

SQ officers involved in the Special Operation receive a daily briefing at the Rigaud Community Centre.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) has approximately 40 officers on the ground in Rigaud. “This is a special operations situation,” Sgt. Marie-Michelle Moore told The Journal during the April 24, Wednesday morning briefing held at the Community Centre in the Paul Brasseur Building currently being used as the SQ command post for the operation. According to Moore, the SQ has 400 officers dedicated to flood operations across Québec.

Throughout the day and days to come, officers have been patrolling flooded sectors of Rigaud verifying that people and properties are safe and secure.

PHOTOS BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

SQ officers Lieutenant Hugo Fournier (left) and Sergeant Marie-Michelle Moore are members of the Special Operations unit currently deployed in Rigaud.

“We have officers going door-to-door, patrolling in vehicles, on motorcycles, boats and on horseback,” said Moore. “There haven’t been any break-ins or robberies reported to date,” she said.

“The two officers on horseback patrol are capable of going through water up to their knees. It’s a different view from horseback and gives better contact with people,” said Moore. The horses are stabled in Saint-Lazare and reportedly treated better than royalty.

The SQ is also using a boat, helicopters and drones to survey the flooded areas.

“We are working with the Canadian Armed Forces, the Rigaud Fire Department, Saint John Ambulance services, and psycho-sociological services,” said Lieutenant Hugo Fournier of the SQ Communications Services. Both Moore and Fournier confirmed the special operation is open-ended in terms of how long they will be in the area.

“We will be here after the river goes down and people begin returning to their homes,” said Moore. “That could take several weeks.” She said the SQ would be available as the flood waters recede to make sure the situation is safe and secure for evacuees to return home.

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