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Canadians fight floods across the country

Canadians fight floods across the country

Thousands in Central Canada, the Atlantic and B.C. spend the weekend struggling with rising water levels

Erick Miner comforts a cat rescued by boat from a home Saturday on Rue Saint-Louis in Gatineau, Que., as rising river levels and heavy rains continue to cause flooding.

Erick Miner comforts a cat rescued by boat from a home Saturday on Rue Saint-Louis in Gatineau, Que., as rising river levels and heavy rains continue to cause flooding. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)Poster of video clip

​Across the country, thousands of Canadians are spending the weekend in a desperate struggle with rising floodwaters caused by unusually persistent rainfall.

More than 400 Canadian Forces personnel were deployed to western and central Quebec on Saturday as high water continued to threaten hundreds of residences, including some in the Montreal area.

Another 800 troops will be added to that total by the end of Sunday, officials have since announced.

More than 130 Quebec communities have been hit by flooding, with an estimated 1,900 homes affected and more than 1,000 people forced to leave.

Floodwaters in Quebec are expected to peak today due to continued rain in most of the affected areas.

Premier visits flooded area

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard visited the flooded Montreal-area community of Rigaud yesterday and urged people to heed authorities if they recommend they leave their homes.

Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. declared a state of emergency Sunday morning and ordered a mandatory evacuation of the region’s flood zones, saying authorities could no longer guarantee the safety of residents.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said he is also evaluating whether to declare a state of emergency after three dikes gave way in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, in the city’s north end.

Homes have been evacuated in Pierrefonds, as well as on the two nearby islands, Ile-Bizard and the smaller Ile-Mercier.

flooding-central-eastern-western-Canada-military

Canadian forces have been deployed to help affected communities cope with rising water levels, including 80 soldiers in Gatineau, seen leaving their temporary headquarters here. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

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