Quebec issues flood zone construction ban

PONTIAC COUNTY – The Quebec government issued a new flood zone map last week, complete with stricter new rules on construction in that zone.

A large piece of shoreline on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River is affected by new rules on building in flood zones. A special intervention flood zone map was released last week that details what areas are affected by a moratorium on the construction of new buildings and reconstruction of buildings destroyed by flooding.

Following public consultations held at the start of July, the province adjusted what areas are considered flooded territory. The special intervention zones apply everywhere in Quebec within the zero to 20-year watermark and impacts all areas affected by the 2017 and 2019 floods.

Municipalities are able to authorize certain repairs to buildings affected by flooding, however they would need to be inspected for damage first. If water has reached the ground floor, if the foundation must be replaced or stabilization work must be carried out, the work will not be permitted.

Residents are encouraged to view the new flood intervention zone map online. Comments and concerns can be submitted to local municipalities directly. Municipalities have until Aug. 19 to submit requests to the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Fight Against Climate Change.

In 2019, flooding affected 250 municipalities in Quebec, forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.