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Danger grows as Eastern Canada faces more rain and flooding

The floods started with snowmelt and rain which caused the Chaudière, Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers to burst their banks bringing flooding to 18 locations. The worst affected areas are the city of Sainte-Marie and Chaudière-Appalaches Region. One fatality was reported as a road was washed away causing a road accident.

So far, according to Quebec public security officials, over 2,500 homes have been damaged with over 2,100 people cut off due to washed out roads or landslides. This is the second time within three years the Gatineau area has experienced a major bout of flooding.

River flooding in eastern Canada.

River flooding in eastern Canada.
Natural Resources Canada

Latest updates as of Friday
In Quebec, a careful watch is being kept on the Chute-Bell dam west of Montreal. The dam is already at “millennial” water levels. This kind of level is consistent with flooding seen every 1,000 years, however, Hydro-Quebec says it is sure the structure will hold.

According to Global News, Simon Racicot, the utility’s director of production and maintenance, told reporters yesterday that “we are entering into an unknown zone right now — completely unknown.”

New Brunswick’s Department of Transportation is reporting that the Trans-Canada Highway is fully closed from Exit 306 in Oromocto to Exit 423 in River Glade, and is expected to remain closed into next week. The flooding of the St. john River has caused over 85 roads in the province to remain closed as of today.

Ferry service has been suspended, including the Belleisle Bay, Evandale, Westfield, and Peninsula Princess ferries. And with the St. John River continuing to rise, homepwners are being urged to get out now while they can.

In Ottawa, Canadian National Guard members, 400 strong, have arrived to begin assisting with filling sandbags in key areas where volunteers have been working non-stop for days. The military arrived just before 9 a.m. this morning in the Ottawa community of Constance Bay.

Environmental Canada has updated the special weather statement to a rainfall warning “due to the limited ability of the ground to absorb this rainfall,” the agency said in a notice posted on its website. Significant rainfall amounts are expected, with total rainfall amounts of 20 to 50 millimeters expected between Friday and Saturday.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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