1000 Year Flood Threatens Quebec Dam

April 27, 2019

Alternative title: White people in peril from Climate Change.
With Iowa and Nebraska still digging out, shit getting real.

Canadian Underwriters:

MONTREAL – Quebec public security officials called for the immediate evacuation of an area along the Rouge River west of Montreal on Thursday because of the risk a hydro dam could fail.
Simon Racicot, director of production and maintenance with Hydro-Quebec, told reporters the dam at Chute Bell was built to withstand what he called a millennial flood.
“That means a flood that happens every 1,000 years,” he said. Hydro workers discovered earlier in the day the millennial level of water had been reached.
“We are confident that the structure is solid,” Racicot said. “But the protocols force us to warn people of the danger. We are entering into an unknown zone right now – completely unknown.”

The largely rural section of river affected is in Quebec’s Lower Laurentians region, about 140 kilometres west of Montreal, stretching about 18 kilometres south to the Ottawa River.
Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault told reporters Thursday evening the province’s hydro utility is confident the dam can hold back its current water reservoir and is structurally sound.
“But we are expecting more rain over the coming hours and days, so the water levels of the Rouge River can rise,” she said in Montreal.

Toronto Globe and Mail:

A dry spell earlier this week offered hope that water levels in Eastern Ontario and western Quebec might stabilize below the record-breaking disaster of 2017. Those hopes were dashed on Friday as heavy rains fell with up to 50 mm forecast through Saturday, adding to already high water levels and melting snow.
Parts of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River were projected to reach 2017 levels early Saturday morning. The Ottawa River could hit 50 centimetres above the 2017 levels that damaged 5,371 homes and forced 4,000 people to seek high ground. The water is not expected to crest before Monday or Tuesday.
A group of local leaders from 10 small bedroom communities just west of Montreal pleaded for help from the province on Friday afternoon, saying the slow-moving flood of the past 10 days is about to turn into a larger-scale disaster. “In coming days, we alone will have to evacuate 1,000 people. This is enormous,” said Patrick Bousez, head of the Vaudreuil-Soulange regional council. “We need help.”

Around 3,018 homes were already flooded in 42 Quebec municipalities and 1,110 people had left their homes on Friday. In New Brunswick, nearly 1,000 people have evacuated homes voluntarily and 400 are staying in temporary hotel accommodations provided by the Canadian Red Cross. However, about 1,000 people did return to their homes late in the week, along the Chaudière River in eastern Quebec where flooding hit earliest.
In Montreal, only 49 homes were damaged on Friday but Mayor Valérie Plante declared an emergency anticipating what may be coming.
About 400 soldiers rolled into Ottawa to assist with its state of emergency, sandbagging and potential evacuations. On the Gatineau side of the capital, where 240 houses were already flooded on Friday, Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin prepared for the worst. “What we are expecting in coming days, we have never seen before,” the mayor said.
One factor complicating matters compared with 2017 is that dozens of smaller rivers flowing from the north are breaking all-time flood records. Among them is the Rouge River, where authorities were closely monitoring a small hydro dam in Bell Falls, Que. Rushing water overflowed the structure and provoked an automatic emergency evacuation of about 66 homes and cottages.

Water levels exceeded one-in-a-thousand-year projections for the dam, but Hydro-Quebec officials said they are confident it will hold. The structure, known as a run-of-the-river dam has no reservoir and holds back a relatively small amount of water compared with major dams. But a complete failure would still send about 2.5 metres of water downstream. Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel said the main risk is that rushing water could wash out highways.

Maple Ridge News:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he believes climate change is among the reasons eastern Ontario homeowners are trying to save their homes from flooding for the second time in three years.
Ford was in the rural west end of Ottawa Friday morning, touring flooded areas along the Ottawa River, where officials are warning a new rain storm will make water levels rise rapidly over the next few days, likely exceeding the levels seen during a 2017 flood.
Ford said that when you see the affected people face-to-face, it “just rips your heart out.”

“These folks can’t go through this every single year,” he said.
He said local officials desperately need volunteers to help fill and distribute sandbags.

5 Responses to “1000 Year Flood Threatens Quebec Dam”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Having grown up in the South, it wasn’t until I lived in New England that I could appreciate the extra complication accumulated snow has on flooding. Not only does it provide extra volume of meltwater, it can block flow and draining, creating new flood zones in their own right.

  2. gmrmt Says:

    That idiot Ford has just recently cancelled a tree planting program for which one of the states goals was to help prevent flooding and has cut a fund for flood preparation by %50 despite flooding worsening over the last few years.


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