- The water level in the lake is predicted to increase to nearly 6 meters this weekend.
- Citizens in Saint-Félicien, Que., ready sandbags as water levels in Lac-Saint-Jean are predicted to increase over the weekend.
Water in Lac-Saint-Jean is predicted to rise to nearly six meters this weekend, and Quebec’s Saguenay area officials are bracing for damage to houses from flooding.
As of Friday, water in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean province was dangerously near to reaching houses in Saint-Félicien and Roberval, with water from the lake already beginning to seep into some basements in the vicinity.
Levels in the lake have steadily inched upward since last Sunday due to rivers overflowing after snowmelt and record rainfall in the province.
“We’re facing an extraordinary, historic event,” said Stéphane Larouche, the director of operations for the aluminum producer Rio Tinto, during a press conference Friday morning.
Rio Tinto, which owns a quarter of the water flow under several dams that are part of its hydropower generating stations, works closely with the region and local cities to address the problem.
“The rivers to Ashuapmushuan and Mistassini got over 60 millimeters of rain over three days. Larouche stated that this usually only happens once every 1,000 or 10,000 years,” Larouche stated.
The two rivers are not under Rio Tinto’s management. The lake’s waters were a tad below typical levels the previous week, but those levels quickly rose as record temperatures hit the region.
The average level at this time of year is usually five meters. The lake is now at 5.44 meters and is expected to shoot 5.48 meters before returning to its normal levels by Sunday, but strong weather winds could cause water to overflow.
Source – cbc.ca