More than 5,000 people were told to quickly leave their homes near Montreal late Saturday and early Sunday after floodwaters breached a dike in rain-soaked eastern Canada.
The barrier protecting Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, just west of Canada\’s second largest city, gave way Saturday night, causing a surge of water up to 1.5 meters (five feet) to crash through the area.
"We didn\’t have time to do anything, the water rose while were chatting, I just had time to take my medication," one resident told public broadcaster Radio-Canada.
Hundreds of policemen, firefighters and soldiers helped evacuate nearly 2,600 homes in the area, a provincial police spokesman said.
"It\’s going very well. Thankfully no one was injured, no one is missing," Sergeant Daniel Thibodeau said.
According to the latest government data, nearly 8,000 people have been forced by rising waters from their homes in Quebec, and about 6,000 homes have been flooded — topping the 2017 toll during what was then the area\’s worst flooding in a half-century.
Some 1,700 soldiers have been deployed to help with evacuations and fill sandbags in the hardest-hit regions of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Last week, both Montreal and the capital Ottawa declared states of emergency. In Fredericton, New Brunswick, crews have been busy hauling away driftwood and debris as waters start to recede.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in the Ottawa area on Saturday for a briefing from emergency management officials and, with his young son, helped to fill sandbags.