Firefighters in Beauceville, Que., are carrying out rescue operations to get people to dry ground following surprise flooding this morning.
An ice jam under a local bridge gave way around 6 a.m., flooding a road and a number of buildings in the town, about 75 kilometres south of Quebec City.
Rushing water loaded with large chunks of ice, branches and other debris can be seen from the edge of the Chaudière River, and the water is still rising.
Firefighters are using heavy equipment with platforms and, in places where water levels are higher, inflatable boats to take people to safety.
“It happened so fast. I woke up and the water was at the end of the street,” said resident Annie Chabot, who was rescued along with her teenage daughter.
“I was happy when they came and got us.”
The river has been under close surveillance in recent days due to flooding concerns.
The Commission scolaire de la Beauce-Etchemin announced that two schools in Beauceville are closed for the day.
A decision will be made about whether evening activities at the schools will go ahead later in the day, the school board said.