Documenting the ravages of flooding in Quebec
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, May 11, 2017 1:45PM EDT
After heavy rainfall last week caused severe flooding in parts of Quebec, residents in the affected areas are sharing incredible images of how the water has impacted their neighbourhoods.
From kayaking down a city street to aerial drone footage showing almost completely submerged homes, Quebecers are providing a first-hand account of the damage and disruption to their lives.
CTVNews.ca has rounded up some of the most astonishing videos documenting the devastation.
One of the hardest-hit neighbourhoods, Pierrefonds, is located along the Rivière des Prairies in the northwestern part of Montreal. One YouTube user, PatransitPlus, has been documenting the flooding in Pierrefonds throughout the week. In one of his first videos uploaded on Sunday, viewers can see just how high the water rose there.
The footage shows an entire plaza parking lot submerged in water. A Pizza Hut restaurant can be seen with water reaching almost halfway up the building. Residents standing on little patches of grass surrounded by water are also visible.
CTV Montreal’s Amanda Kline was also in Pierrefonds and shot a video of the flooding at an intersection on Monday morning. The short clip shows the intersection appearing more like a small lake with streetlights and lampposts standing in the water, instead of the typical traffic moving through the streets.
Another YouTube video uploaded on Sunday by PatransitPlus documents a firetruck creating incredible waves as it makes its way through a flooded street. The cameraman can be heard exclaiming, “You could argue that the Rivière des Prairies right now is on Pierrefonds Boulevard. This is a scene out of a dream or a nightmare.”
For those residents who didn’t have a firetruck handy to travel around the neighbourhood, they came up with a different approach to moving around the area. One Instagram user recorded three kayakers paddling outside of her office building on Wednesday. “That’s the only way to get out of here,” she says in the video shot from her office building window. “Or you swim.”
The woman’s video also shows cars sitting in a parking lot with only the roofs of the vehicles visible above the surrounding water. Laval Besides kayaks, residents in Laval, a city just north of Montreal, also managed to find ways to move around the flooded streets.
To demonstrate the severity of the flooding on the ground, one Laval resident, real estate agent Chantal Vaillancourt, strapped a GoPro camera to her forehead and took a canoe trip through the western part of the city on Tuesday. During the paddle, the video shows residential streets and sidewalks completely submerged.
The front lawns of many homes are no longer visible and some homes even have water nearing their front doors. Vaillancourt passes a car sitting in the middle of the street almost entirely covered in water and a man strolling through thigh-deep water in the middle of the road. At one point, she paddles past another group of residents in canoes.
Inondation Laval-Ouest 2017
Voici un petit montage enregistré le 9 mai 2017 à Laval-Ouest en canot. (Je ne savais pas que la Gopro enregistrait le son... avoir su, j'aurais fait un effort pour dire des choses plus intelligentes.) Bon visionnement et bon courage à tous les sinistrés. - ChantalPosted by Philippe et Chantal Vaillancourt - Courtiers immobiliers résidentiels on Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Not everyone needed a boat to travel around the flooded streets in Laval, however. CTV Montreal’s Cindy Sherwin captured a pair of seemingly “confused” ducks swimming along Liverpool Street after entering from the Rivière des Mille Îles on Monday.
The magnitude of the flooding in the municipality of Deux-Montagnes, on the north shore of the Rivière des Mille Îles, was captured perfectly in aerial drone footage shot by YouTube user Supay08 on Monday. The nearly seven-minute-long video shows the extent of the flooding with entire streets covered in water and houses surrounded by water on all sides.
Île Bizard and Saint-Eustache
The same drone flyer shot another aerial video from above Île Bizard, an island near Montreal, and the suburb of Saint-Eustache, just west of Montreal on Wednesday. The overhead view shows the disparity in water levels from one street to the next. Some completely dry roads are shown before the camera slightly pans to another one a short distance away that is covered in water.
In the City of Gatineau, in western Quebec near Ottawa, one Facebook user, Tasse Linda, uploaded two videos on Tuesday showing Canadian forces in armoured vehicles driving through flooded streets to assist with the flooding situation there. Streets lines with sandbags and small boats can also be seen in the footage.
The residents in the Montreal neighbourhood of Pierrefonds weren’t the only ones making use of kayaks during the emergency. CTV News’ Michel Boyer filmed a short video of a man in a purple kayak making his way along a flooded street in Gatineau. He wrote in the accompanying caption: “People going to great lengths to get around. Spirits seem to be very positive this afternoon.”
People going to great lengths to get around. Spirits seem to be very positive this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/worf8HqwrJ— Michel Boyer (@BoyerMichel) May 8, 2017
In the borough of L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève in Montreal, YouTube user PatransitPlus filmed the devastating effects of the flooding on a local cemetery behind the Paroisse Ste-Geneviève on Sunday. The plots of land in front of many of the tombstones in the cemetery are submerged in water. The graves placed closer to the church on a higher evaluation appear untouched by the encroaching water in the video.
At the height of the flooding in the village of Île Cadieux in the Montérégie region of Quebec on Sunday, CTV Montreal’s Aalia Adam shot a video with her phone from the passenger seat of a vehicle as it drove through the water. The vehicle creates a wake as it passes by trees sticking out from the flooded street in the footage.