Springtime flooding threatens homes once again in Laval

City deploys 1.2 kms. of anti-flood barriers alongside the Rivière des Mille Îles

With significant rain forecast for Laval since the beginning of this week and over the coming days, officials with the city are determined not to be caught off-guard with rising floodwaters this time, compared to past years when preventive measures were taken late.

Since April 20, according to the city, teams with the public works department have been setting up a variety of barriers in especially flood-prone spots (such as on Riviera St. along the Rivière des Mille Îles in Laval-Ouest) as a precaution against the threat of rising waters.

Riviera St. in Laval-Ouest, which runs right next to the Rivière des Mille Îles, has been fortified with a cement block barrier to protect against springtime flooding from the river. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

Flood guards deployed

According to an inventory conducted by the city, more than 209 homes in affected areas of Laval are threatened by flooding. As a result, the City of Laval has erected 1.2 kilometres of flood-resistant barriers (equal to 10 football fields), including a wall of massive concrete blocks, and Citadel anti-flood protective barriers.

New data from World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Floods Tool projects that by 2030 the number of people worldwide impacted by floods will double from 65 million to 132 million due to river flooding, and from 7 million to 15 million due to coastal flooding.

Flood damage increases

The amount of urban property damaged by river floods is expected to increase threefold – from $157 billion to $535 billion, while it will increase tenfold due to coastal storm surge and sea level rise from $17 billion to $177 billion. By 2050, the numbers are expected to be catastrophic: 191 million, while 30 million people will be at risk of river and coastal flooding respectively each year.

The city says that Laval-Ouest is considered to be the sector of Laval most at risk of flooding from the Rivière des Mille Îles. As such, Riviera St. near 20th St. in particular is being monitored closely, since in past years it was the epicentre of flooding, while potentially heavy rainfall is expected all this week.

Measure of prevention

Although the city acknowledges that weather patterns are especially unpredictable these past few years, they say the flood barriers have been moved into place largely for preventive reasons – better to be prepared instead of leaving it for when it might be too late. In addition to the barriers, the city is not ruling out also resorting to hand-filled sandbags stacked strategically against the rising waters.

The Berge aux Quatre-vents in Laval-Ouest, one of the most flood-impacted areas along the Rivière des Mille Îles, has seen some of the most severe springtime flooding in recent years. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

The city is inviting all Laval residents living in areas potentially vulnerable to rising floodwaters to take action as soon as possible to safeguard their property and possessions. As well, it should be remembered that the highest priority should always be accorded to safeguarding health and personal safety.

Get the latest flood info

In addition to this, the city is recommending that anyone who wants to be kept up to date with the most current information regarding the flooding situation should go to the web site abonnement.laval.ca where various options are available to receive texts or e-mail notices. It should be noted that these services are most useful when emergencies are underway.

Rapidly updated information on the flooding situation, including instructions on how to prepare should an evacuation become necessary, can also be obtained at the website inondations.laval.ca. The City of Laval’s resident relations agents can also be reached by phone by calling 3-1-1.