Flooding prompts evacuations, road closures in Gatineau

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Flooding prompts evacuations, road closures in Gatineau

Significant rainfall has flooded dozens of streets in Gatineau and firefighters were going door to door Tuesday morning east of Pointe-Gatineau asking people to evacuate their homes.

As of 7 a.m., nearly 20 streets were closed and firefighters had visited approximately 300 homes. 

The affected streets are impassible but the evacuations are voluntary at the moment, said City of Gatineau spokesperson Yves Melançon.

"We've actually reached some of the water levels [as] last week," Melançon said.  

"With what's expected by Wednesday or Thursday we can expect even more... We just want to make sure people are aware that they have options."

Centre open for displaced residents

Gatineau re-opened Jean-René-Monette community centre as shelter for displaced residents. The STO is offering a shuttle service to the centre for anyone who needs it.

Melançon said the city is monitoring flooded and potentially flooded areas and leaving open the possibility of closing more streets.

"The water level is rising because of the melting of the snow and the ice and the rain we've been receiving over the last 48 hours," Melançon said.

City workers prepared 12,000 sandbags and delivered them to pickup locations around Gatineau.

Firefighters use boats to reach residents

Gatineau firefighters brought Elizabeth Smith and her dog Peaches to safety Tuesday after Smith's sump pump broke. 

"The water got too high and the pump broke overnight," Smith said. 

She had about 25 centimetres of water in her basement when she and her dog boarded the boat firefighters brought to her flooded home in the area of Rue Saint-Louis.

Alain Lepage, who lives near the intersection of Rue Saint-Louis and Rue Blais, said the flooding is the worst he's seen in 15 years.

Firefighters visited his home Tuesday to drop off information pamphlets. They instructed residents to pack some clothes and belongings in case the situation worsened.

"I'm hoping for the best," Lepage said as he stacked sandbags around his home.

Lepage said he doesn't plan to leave quite yet. His basement had about four centimetres of water in it, but his sump pump was still working.

"So far I'm OK," he said.

Hydro Météo, which monitors water levels in Quebec, says the Outaouais is one of the areas most affected by flooding in the province.

An updated list of streets and pathways that are affected by flooding is available here.