Montreal state of emergency won’t be renewed

MONTREAL — Authorities in Montreal announced Saturday that the city won’t renew its state of emergency as flood levels appeared to wane all across Quebec.

Montreal Fire Chief Bruno Lachance said the situation in the city had stabilized enough to allow the emergency measure to be lifted on Sunday at noon.

“The water continues to go down, so we’re reaching much more reasonable levels,” he said. “The water is also withdrawing from several properties which is giving us access.”

Authorities reported water levels were dropping in most parts of the province despite weather forecasts calling for weekend rain.

At a news conference in Montreal, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said there were “encouraging signs” in all the affected areas of the province.

He said water levels have even gone down in the Mauricie region in central Quebec, where more flooding had been expected.

He acknowledged the tough work ahead for many regions as they begin to shift to cleanup mode.

“The water is lowering, but the water is still there, and so we have a lot of days in front of us where we’ll have to count on everyone,” he said at a Red Cross aid centre in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough west of Montreal.

At Coiteux’s side, Finance Minister Carlos Leitao assured citizens that “the envelope is open” and that financial aid would be available.

As of Friday evening, the province’s civil security department said 4,700 residences had been stuck by flooding and just under 3,900 people have been moved out of their homes in 175 communities.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre reminded citizens not to return home until their properties had been deemed safe by city inspectors.

The Canadian Press

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