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Efforts underway to break up ice jams that flooded Quebec City neighbourhood


QUEBEC — Authorities warned Monday there could be more evacuations after weekend flooding forced residents out of about 40 homes in a Quebec city neighbourhood.

Heavy equipment had to be brought in to help break up ice jams on the St. Charles River which have been blamed for the flooding.

Backhoes were being used to reduce one major ice jam that is more than 100 metres long.

Michel Therrien, a Quebec civil protection spokesman, said people living in 30 other residences were advised they may also need to evacuate their homes if water levels continue to rise.

But he added the evacuations may not be necessary.

"The flow of the river has gone down a lot which allows us to go to work and turn back the water so we can free up the streets and houses that have water in them," he told reporters.

Therrien said a meeting was planned with the evacuees Monday evening so they could get more information about returning home and making damage claims.

Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume visited the flooded area Monday.

Coiteux said his thoughts were with the victims who have had to deal with flooding during extreme temperatures.

He also announced that financial assistance would be forthcoming "as quickly as possible," noting that about 70 people have had to leave their homes.

Coiteux added that aid was being provided to 30 municipalities in different regions of Quebec that have been affected by recent flooding.

He also warned there would be more flooding in the coming years because of climate change.

"This is something we fear will happen more frequently in the future because of global warming," he said.

Temperature swings over the past few days have caused a lot of headaches for local residents. 

Therrien said heavy precipitation Friday forced the river to rise before temperatures dropped Saturday.

The rising water encased several vehicles in ice when it froze.

Police also increased patrols to check on residences that had to be evacuated.

 

The Canadian Press

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