Water levels are receding rapidly enough around Montreal that city officials have decided to lift the state of emergency, beginning Sunday at noon.
Montreal fire department Chief Bruno Lachance said today that, after analysis and consulting with Mayor Denis Coderre, it was decided not to renew the emergency status that was invoked last Sunday to deal with severe flooding.
Though rain is forecast for the weekend, Lachance said it was not expected to be enough to raise water levels significantly.
Large parts of Montreal’s West Island remain underwater, though residents have begun to return to their homes as the heavy precipitation of the past two weeks has finally relented.
The improving weather outlook has also prompted cautious optimism in other parts of the province hit hard by flooding.
Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux cautioned it will be a slow process for residents to return home and take stock while flooding is still underway.
“We’re still in this for a number of weeks because even if the water levels recede, they are still high and will remain high for a while,” said Coiteux.
Next steps in Montreal
Coderre announced Saturday that residents affected by flooding will have an extension to pay the second half of their property taxes. The new deadline is Dec. 1, 2017.
The new deadline also allows residents to have the value of their flood-damaged properties assessed, which in turn could lead to lower property taxes.
While floodwaters have receded, the city has also asked residents to be patient when it comes to going home.
Residents may only return to their homes once city inspectors deem it is safe, and then they will receive individualized safety instructions to follow.
Montreal will also set up two command posts to help residents who are able to return to their homes. Flood victims are asked to contact 311 to get help from public security.
Firefighters will accompany residents to inspect their homes and identify any risks related to structural damage, electricity or natural gas.
The city is also advising residents to do the following upon returning home:
- Check that heating and electricity systems are functioning.
- Check the general state of the home.
- Ensure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly.
- Check for mould.
- Document damage by taking photos and keeping a written log.
- Check food and water quality before consuming.
Cautious optimism in the Mauricie
Water levels dropped by a dozen millimetres in central Quebec overnight, leaving public security officials hopeful the Mauricie region will also be able to weather weekend rain without more flooding.
Around 20 millimetres of rain is…