SQ officers on overnight patrol in Rigaud after flooding prompts state of emergency

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SQ officers on overnight patrol in Rigaud after flooding prompts state of emergency

Provincial police officers are on patrol all night long in the municipality of Rigaud to ensure everyone is safe, as water levels in the area continue to rise.

The municipality, located 25 kilometres off the island of Montreal, declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon, as roads and houses began to flood.

Residents living in the areas of Baie de Rigaud, Pointe-Séguin, Rigaud sur le lac and Pointe à la Raquette, were told to leave their homes. 

"In light of the latest information, the City of Rigaud has no choice but to declare a local state of emergency effective immediately," the municipality said on its Facebook page.

Residents were advised to go to the local library if they need a place to go. Family pets aren't allowed in the library, but a number of local kennels offered discounted rates.

​If anyone needs to reach the municipality in the event of an emergency, they can call 450-451-0869, extension 235.

Not all complying with evacuation order

In an interview with CBC Montreal, Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. said water levels are still rising and it's only a matter of time before access roads to the affected areas are underwater.

Still, some residents, like William Bradley, are ignoring the evacuation order.

"Most people are refusing to go. They figure they put a lot of work in, they can save their house, and probably they're moving stuff upstairs that they can't replace," Bradley told CBC.

He said he has water coming in his back door. So he filled his pickup truck with dozens of sandbags and drove along a flooded road to get the bags home.

"We're going to put them around the windows with some polyethylene," he said. 

Michael Scanzano is doing the same. 

"There's some water in the basement starting [to come in]. I'm trying to save the house," he said while making sandbags.

"And there's a whole bunch of people who need sandbags so we're going to deliver some."

Scanzano said his mother is home, and won't leave.

"Yeah, mom is out there. She's a nervous wreck right now.  She is trapped there with cats and dogs in the house. Yup, really bad."

City officials maintain that people should leave their homes.

"Once they're flooded out, I cannot give these people the security level that they require. I can't send them first responders, I can't send them fire trucks, I just can't give them any services as long as they're on that little island away from the rest of the town," Gruenwald said.

A municipal bus went through the affected areas to check on residents and transport those who needed a lift to the library.

Laval, West Island also see flooding

​Rigaud is not the only community in the area dealing with flooding after a week of heavy rain. 

In Montreal's West Island, parts of Pierrefonds Boulevard were also covered in water late Thursday afternoon.

 At least one lane near the corner of St-Jean Boulevard was completely submerged in about five centimetres of water, one resident told CBC.

Water also flowed onto the street near the intersection of Gouin Boulevard.

Senneville, a community on the western tip of Montreal, also experienced flooding. A video posted to social media Wednesday showed flooding at the local sailing club. 

​Fanny Payette, a meteorologist with Hydro Météo, a non-governmental agency that monitors water levels, says Quebec saw 10 to 15 millimetres of rain overnight.

The Ottawa River, the Rivière des Prairies and the Mille Îles River are considered among the bodies of water most at risk.

Laval and Île-Bizard have given out sandbags to residents. In Laval, a group of volunteers is going door-to-door, to inform residents in certain areas of Sainte-Dorothée and Laval-sur-le-Lac about the risk of local flooding.

By 8 p.m., Laval officials closed off a section of Mille-Îles Boulevard near Contant Street to traffic. It is not yet known when the street will reopen.

The City of Laval is encouraging people in the Rivière des Prairies or Mille Îles River areas to visit its website for more information.