More than 600 Canadian soldiers have fanned out across Quebec, filling and stacking sandbags as officials warn that flood waters are likely to keep rising this week due to warming temperatures that contribute to snowmelt and ice movement.
Spring flooding has killed one person and forced almost 1,700 people from their homes in Canada's Quebec province, with waters expected to continue rising on Monday due to rising temperatures and more rain forecast for the coming days.
"We are optimistic about the coming days", civil security spokesperson Eric Houde told AFP.
The federal government said it is providing disaster response to Quebec, including hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces already deployed to help with sandbagging and other efforts.
Minister of Infrastructure Francois-Philippe Champagne thanked the troops for their "outstanding work" over the Easter weekend.
According to Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Marie-Ève Giguère, Quebec "had exactly the ingredients" to create a severe flooding scenario.
"Thank you to the many volunteers who came to lend a hand to residents", Plante said in a tweet. He said citizens in threatened areas need to protect their homes with sandbags that have either been delivered or are available for pickup at distribution centers.
In a tweet Saturday, police said Louise Seguin Lortie, 72, died when her sedan fell into a sinkhole created when flood waters wiped out an entire section of the street over Friday night.
"What we can do is open shelters, we can also provide vouchers for food or for clothes", Canadian Red Cross spokesman Carl Boisvert said. "But we give them enough resources to leave with dignity". "But we have to be clearheaded, and if its necessary to force people to move, we'll do it".
Legault said once the government pays out $100,000, it would then offer to buy the home at a maximum cost of $200,000.