Local municipalities are reacting to a "once-in-a-thousand-year flood" along the Rivière Rouge. The flood, which is the worst flooding ever recorded along this river, has prompted evacuations because of the possibility that the Chute-Bell dam will break.
Québec Alert Ready, a service that issues alerts to quickly warn Quebecers of events posing a real or imminent threat to their lives or safety, ordered residents near the dam to "evacuate immediately."
Local authorities have already evacuated hundreds of citizens, but they say that evacuations are still underway. Unfortunately, local authorities are unable to evacuate animals, too.
TL;DR Local authorities have already evacuated hundreds of citizens along the Rivière Rouge between the Chute Bell Dam and the Outaouais river because of the possibility that the aforementioned dam will break. They say that evacuations are still underway.
Evacuations began yesterday afternoon, but authorities are still on site to continue operations around the 150 residences in the area at risk.
Mayor Tom Arnold was on record with a Quebec radio station to discuss the situation. He says that though Hydro-Quebec engineers believe that the dam will hold, they do not want to take risks.
A Hydro spokesperson told MTLBlog that, though the dam is built to withstand a "once-in-a-thousand-year flood," floodwaters have already surpassed what this level.
A thousand-year flood is a name given to the possibility that "a flood of that magnitude has a 1 in 1,000 chance of occurring in any given year."
Over 60 people have already been evacuated, but there are 250 people in total being encouraged to leave their homes. Many people are still refusing to leave their homes.
Arnold goes on to say that he understands that people are in shock because they have to leave their homes and their animals behind.
The area is very rural, and many make their living on farms and therefore keep many animals.