SPRING FLOODING IN QUÉBEC, WEEDON ORDERS EVACUATION AFFECTING 500 HOMESE
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By Cori Marshall
Spring is here, that means melting ice and warmer weather. Spring 2017 saw several areas of Québec it hard by flood waters, and many rivers and waterways are under surveillance as some have already left their banks.
Last week the Chaudière River water levels rose to "average flood" stage and remained at that designation. The latest information on the municipal website indicates that the water level has risen approximately 9.5 cm since 7 AM. The water in the Chaudière River is currently 6.7 metres above sea level and less than a metre below major flood level.
The Municipalité de Weedon issued an evacuation order on April 29, stating that "according to the hydrogeological data the water level will continue to increase until 9 AM, Monday, April 30th."
Richard Tanguay, Mayor of Weedon, said that levels "should stay relatively stable, and should begin to drop in the evening through tonight."
Tanguay explained that "the Red Cross has taken charge of four households, another dozen where residents have gone to stay with friend and family." He added that "the remainder chose to stay in their homes even though there was water."
Weedon is a municipality with a population just under 2700, and the evacuation order does not affect the entire territory of the municipality. Tanguay said that "it touches eight streets near the water, and affects approximately 500 homes."
The mayor underlined that "on 500 homes that are affected, there are about 50 that are really problematic."
The municipality will not return to normal for some time. Tanguay said, "for the roads to be completely clear we expect it to be about 48 hours."
According to the website of the Sécurité Publique, there are two rivers in the Chaudière-Appalaches region with stations reporting major flood conditions. Across the province, there are six stations reporting reaching average flood stage, and another fifteen reporting minor flooding. There are twenty-two stations under surveillance.
Nanie Ayotte, a Forecast Geographer with Hydro-Météo, said that the weather might not help the situation in the coming days. "In the next few days we are expecting an important temperature rise, ranging between 10 to 20 degrees depending on where you are, the ground will not freeze which would slow the melting down," she said.
Ayotte said she "could not see the future," though doesn't expect to see the same type of conditions that were seen in spring 2017.
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