Body of Man Missing in Quebec Floods Found; Child Still Missing

The Canadian Press, May 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

Body of Man Missing in Quebec Floods Found; Child Still Missing


Body of man missing in Quebec floods found

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MONTREAL - More than 1,500 soldiers hit the ground Monday to help Quebecers deal with "historic" flooding that has caused widespread damage and evacuations and sparked a desperate search for a man and a toddler whose vehicle swerved off a waterlogged road into a surging river.

Quebec Provincial Police spokeswoman Helene Nepton said late Monday that the body of Mike Gagnon, 37, of Saint-Anne-des-Monts, was recovered about 500 metres from where a strong current pulled the car toward the Sainte-Anne River in eastern Quebec on Sunday.

A two-year-old girl who was also in the car has not yet been found. A ground and air search will resume early Tuesday to try to find her.

A woman who was also in the car saved herself after all three fell into the water when the vehicle flipped, said Sgt. Claude Doiron.

He said the man was trying to help people who were trapped in the area.

The search continued as Quebec's public security minister said water levels across the province would peak between Monday and Wednesday.

Authorities expect the water to start receding by mid-week, said Martin Coiteux.

"What's encouraging is that the water levels will stop climbing," Coiteux told a news conference in Montreal. "It's very important to reiterate that. We are reaching maximum levels.

"The water levels in the flooded areas should start going down Wednesday. It may start earlier in certain sectors. But these levels are very high... so patience is required. But I know it's hard."

Heavy rains and melting snowpack across Quebec have so far flooded 2,429 residences in the province, forcing the evacuation of 1,520 people in almost 150 municipalities.

"We're talking about historic levels of water," said Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel. "We haven't seen this in more than 55 years."

National Defence said some 1,650 soldiers were expected to be helping in the flood effort by the end of the day Monday.

The troops, along with aircraft and a dozen boats, were aiding communities across Quebec, several of which were under states of emergency, including Montreal and its northern suburbs.

"We are being ready to be responsive in any form or shape that is required to meet the task," said Brig.-Gen. Hercule Gosselin. "So I have no concern, whatsoever, that we're going to be able to answer the call from civil security. …

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