Saint-André-Avellin, Que., declares state of emergency over spring floods

Quebec opens up emergency flood funds for Outaouais municipalities

The municipality of Saint-André-Avellin, Que., has declared a state of emergency after floodwaters have forced a dozen homes to be evacuated.

The community, located about 80 kilometres northeast of Ottawa, held an emergency council meeting late Thursday afternoon after water levels on the Petite-Nation River rose significantly overnight.

The declaration allows the municipality and its residents to get assistance from the province of Quebec.

Before the meeting, Mayor Thérèse Whissel told Radio-Canada that Lake Simon north of the municipality has begun to thaw, sending water cascading down the Petite-Nation into the town.

When nearby Lake Gagnon begins to melt, the situation will become even worse, she said.

Today's emergency meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Flooding has also hit hard in other regions around the Outaouais:

- In Pontiac, Que., about 10 homes have been flooded due to rising levels on the Ottawa River, and multiple roads are closed.

- Two people have been forced from their homes in Montpellier, Que., after a local creek spilled its banks and flooded a home and two cottages.

- In Ripon, Que., one person was forced from their home due to flooding on the Petite-Nation River. 

The town of Rigaud, Que., about 130 kilometres east of Ottawa near the Ontario-Quebec border, has also declared a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, the City of Gatineau is keeping close watch on rising waters in five different neighbourhoods on the Ottawa River and Gatineau River.

In an update posted online Thursday, the city said consequences had so far been "minimal" and limited to water overflowing onto city streets and various road closures.

The city also warned that water levels could continue to rise over the next few days.

Sandbags have been made available for residents who are concerned about the flood risk.