NEWS

Quebec City-area floods force evacuation

03/22/2012 02:54 EDT | Updated 05/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Flooding has forced hundreds of people from their homes near Quebec City.

The St-Anne River overflowed in St-Raymond-de-Portneuf at around 12 a.m. Thursday, triggering an evacuation that included 400 people, 200 of them seniors.

An ice jam down river is to blame for it bursting its banks, according to officials.

An excavator was brought in to break up the ice.

A week ago, people were using snowmobiles on frozen waterway, but a warm snap in southern Quebec caused a quick melt.

A seniors residence was among the buildings evacuated Thursday.

Access to the building, which was built only three years ago, was blocked and the residents were removed as a preventive measure.

Quebec Civil Security and local officials said the rising waters are unusual and were unexpected.

Mayor Daniel Dion told reporters Thursday there was a 1 per cent chance of this type of flooding occurring.

It’s not clear yet when residents will be able to return home.

Once the river is under control, water can be pumped out of the structures.

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