Despite the global coronavirus pandemic and the measures put in place to slow the spread, Laval is mobilized for and been preparing for the spring flood season for several months

Last week Mayor Marc Demers met with Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault, Minister responsible for the Laval region, Éric Girard, and Sainte-Rose MNA Christopher Skeete to go over the city’s plans.

Annual surveillance operations began last week under the Laval Police Civil Protection Division, and planning will ensure emergency vehicles have access to risk areas; providing essential services to affected citizens; protecting municipal infrastructure (buildings, pumping stations, electrical panels, etc.); and supporting vulnerable populations.

The city has begun processes to acquire equipment, including pallets of sandbags and Citadel-type water barriers, and is reducing delays associated with public tenders so that goods and services can be obtained quickly. “According to the current planning, we should have received all the goods and services by the beginning of April,” said Demers. “Protecting people and property is our priority and we are constantly improving our practices to ensure that our teams are ready to respond effectively, despite the context relating to the pandemic.”

The city is imploring residents to subscribe to Laval’s various electronic communication tools via so that they are quickly informed by email of important notices sent in the event of an emergency. Those whose contact details have changed must also update their profile.

Residents in risk zones must check the operation of their sump pump; have a 72-hour family emergency kit; follow safety instructions from relevant authorities; monitor weather and river conditions; relocate objects to upper floors; protect doors, windows, and garages with dikes made of sandbags; and inform the city of situations of concern via 311.

Laval will employ systematic delivery of sandbags according to areas where impacts are anticipated according to 3- to- 5-day forecasts determined by data provided by the Environment and Public Security ministries, Hydro météo, Environment Canada, Climate Change Canada, Hydro-Québec and the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board. Operational planning zones (ZPO) in the event of flooding have been determined for Rivière-des-mille-îles and Rivière-des-prairies.

The temporary protection measures implemented in 2019 are renewed according to established forecasts and many critical sites have been studied as well. A study is also underway to identify sites where permanent structural mitigation measures or green infrastructure could be implemented.

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