U.S. Water News Online
MONTREAL, Canada -- Infrastructure damage from recent flash
floods here is now estimated at several hundred million dollars,
according to Charles Cote, deputy minister of Public Security.
Floods which killed at least 10 people and forced 10,000 from
their homes, were the result of two days of torrential rains in late
July, causing four major tributaries flowing from the lake in the
Saguenay River to overflow their banks.
Dozens of homes, including an apartment building, were swept away
as the torrents eroded riverbanks. The Canadian Armed Forces
evacuated at least 2,000 people by helicopter.
Repairs to roads, bridges, and rail lines are now underway. Flood
damage stretches from the Saguenay region to Sept-Iles, 400 miles
northeast of Quebec City along the north shore of the St. Lawrence
"It was worse than I expected," said Canadian Prime Minister Jean
Chretien, who flew by helicopter over the region. He said the federal
government could eventually pay between 50 percent and 90 percent of
Hydro-Quebec, the government-owned electrical utility, which also
supplies power to the northeastern United States, said none of its
dams were at risk.
Alcan Aluminum Ltd., which operates three big aluminum smelters in the Saguenay region, said primary aluminum production was unaffected by the flooding. But it said the plants were operating on existing stocks of raw materials because roads and rail lines had been washed out.
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