Canada has tripled the number of troops deployed in response to devastating floods in eastern Canada — the worst seen in half a century.
From British Columbia to eastern Canada, rising waters are cutting off roadways and forcing people to evacuate their homes. Teams are also searching for several people who were swept away by floodwaters in B.C. and Quebec.
The federal government is taking an “all of Canada approach” with 1,500 troops deployed so far in Quebec and both troops and military transportation on standby across the country in response to flooding, Canada’s public safety minister Ralph Goodale said in a statement Monday.
On Sunday, Montreal joined other Quebec cities in declaring a state of emergency after several dikes gave way to the rising waters. Nearly 2,000 homes in Quebec have been flooded.
The Canadian Forces is providing 250,000 sandbags to Ontario, which asked for federal help, but not military assistance.
Ont Govt has requested federal support in fighting flood waters thru provision of emergency materials. Answer is of course YES!
— Ralph Goodale (@RalphGoodale) May 7, 2017
“No other province has requested federal assistance at this stage, but we are on alert to respond quickly if circumstances change,” Goodale said in the statement, adding that the government is watching New Brunswick and B.C. closely.
Roads have closed in New Brunswick amid heavy rainfall Saturday and Sunday, with more rain expected today from the same slow-moving system that caused a high-level of rainfall in Ontario and Quebec. Flooding and mudslides hit the B.C. interior over the weekend in what Goodale called “dangerous water conditions.”
The RCMP is searching for the body of a fire chief who disappeared Friday amid rising waters in Cache Creek, B.C., a small town near Kamloops. Another man, 76, is also missing after a mudslide buried his home in a small town in the province’s interior.
Search teams are looking for a 37-year-old man and his two-year-old daughter who were swept away in Gaspé, Quebec when they tried to escape from their car stranded on a flooded road.
In Arkansas, a four-year-old boy was found dead after rising flood waters pulled him away from his mother’s grip. His younger sister is still missing. The Washington Post reports that at least 20 people have died across several states due to flooding, with six of those in Arkansas.