May 24, 2011 by staff
Quebec Flooding, The number of Canadian soldiers to help flood victims along the Richelieu River in Quebec doubled to 500 in yesterday as the water level reached a record level. South winds up to 80 miles an hour forced water from spilling into Lake Champlain Richelieu southeast of Montreal.
Premier Jean Charest visited the region last week for the third time since the flooding began five weeks ago. He then asked the Canadian Armed Forces for further assistance. “They will be used for different tasks,” said Charest. “Whether security, sandbags … we will respond to requests as soon as possible.” About 3,000 homes were flooded and 1,000 people have been forced out since the start of flooding.
It is unclear how long the additional troops Valcartier base will stay in the region, said Maj. Richard Collin, deputy national task force, which is managing the operation.
“What I can say is that we will be in all the cities along the Richelieu River [affected by the flooding],” he said.
Water levels are expected to decline sharply last week, said Collin.
“Based on all the models we’ve seen … hopefully the winds will die dramatically after lunch,” he said.
But residents are not out of woods yet. René Héroux of Environment Canada said the rain is forecast this week.
“About two to three days of precipitation from Thursday … and into the weekend,” said Héroux.
It will not be until early next week that flood victims should start to see “light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
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