The Rouge River has been overflowing its banks for the past few days, thanks to a big spring run-off and heavy rains which took place on April 19. Hydro-Quebec says that the Bell Falls dam is well-maintained, and that even if the 1,000-year flood level for which the dam was designed has been reached, evacuations ordered earlier today were only a precautionary measure.
While evacuations were ordered earlier today and alerts were being sent about the possible failure of the Bell Falls dam, this assurance just came in this evening (April 25) via Newswire from Hydro-Québec.
A press release contained the following information: The Chute-Bell Falls generating facility has an overflow dam allowing water to spill over its crest in the event of excess discharges. The 1,000-year flood level for which the dam was designed has been reached.
Weather forecasts call for precipitation that will further increase water levels in the Rivière Rouge in the next few hours. The higher levels should have very little impact on the Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River), located 18 kilometres away, and do not pose any threat to Carillon generating station.
As a precaution, Hydro-Québec has asked the Ministère de la Sécurité publique to evacuate some 50 primary or secondary residences located downstream of the Chute‑Bell facility.
Chute-Bell generating station is in good working order and has always been properly maintained, as is the case for all Hydro-Québec facilities.
Hydro-Québec would like to reassure the population that the evacuation order was issued as a precautionary measure only. When public safety is at stake, the company prefers to err on the side of caution. We are closely monitoring the level of all Québec rivers on which we operate facilities, and can affirm that currently, the situation on the Rouge is unique.
Louise Sproule has been the publisher of The Review since 1992. A part-time job after high school at The Review got Sproule hooked on community newspapers and all that they represent. She loves to write, has covered every kind of event you can think of, loves to organize community events and loves her small town and taking photographs across the region. She dreams of writing a book one day so she can finally tell all of the town's secrets! She must be stopped! Keep subscribing to The Review . . . or else!
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