News / Canada

Hundreds of homes in Rigaud, Que., affected by flooding after river bursts banks

A man and woman use a boat to move along a street in the town of Rigaud, Que., west of Montreal, Thursday, April 20, 2017, following flooding in the area. A state of emergency has been issued by the town. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A man and woman use a boat to move along a street in the town of Rigaud, Que., west of Montreal, Thursday, April 20, 2017, following flooding in the area. A state of emergency has been issued by the town. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — The Quebec town of Rigaud remained under a state of emergency on Friday with about 340 homes affected by flooding due to rising water levels of the Ottawa River.

Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux signed a decree allowing emergency funding to be available for claims by local residents whose homes were damaged by the water.

Coiteux visited the flooded area, located just west of Montreal near the Ontario border, and said it's the worst flooding in the region since 1998.

He said people should leave their homes if asked by police.

"The provincial police are here to make sure people are safe," he said. "It's more prudent, that when we think it's time to evacuate, we think people should do that. We can't take any chances."

Coiteux said Quebec is used to some seasonal flooding but this year is different because heavy rain has caused the water levels of rivers across the province to rise and threaten homes and other infrastructure.

"This is a special year for flooding," he said.

Coiteux said provincial police and fire officials were patrolling the town and were scheduled to visit damaged homes again on Saturday.

He added the weather is scheduled to improve over the weekend, which should help the emergency crews on site.

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