04/16/2014 12:08 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 11:23 EDT

High river levels force evacuations in several Quebec communities

SHERBROOKE, Que. - Hundreds of people have been forced from their homes in Sherbrooke, Que., as the Saint-Francois River continues to swell.

Officials say the river has now reached 7.3 meters, much higher than its normal level of 1.8 meters.

They say that's prompted a third evacuation of more than 400 people. Officials had initially evacuated 30 people living near the river, then another 100.

Several rivers have overflowed their banks in the province, forcing evacuations in multiple locations.

A seniors' residence has been evacuated because of flooding of the Sainte- Anne River in Saint-Raymond, northwest of Quebec City. The same area was flooded twice in 2012, forcing 700 people from their homes.

In Quebec City, authorities say the water levels of several rivers have reached crisis level and an emergency preparedness plan has been activated.

Some 30 homes have been evacuated along the Montmorency River.

Evacuations have also been carried out in Trois-Rivieres and in Lennoxville and Weedon in the Eastern Townships south of Montreal.