MONTREAL, AFP, 11 May 2017 - Expect more floods, wildfires and other natural disasters than ever before, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Thursday as he toured flood-ravaged Quebec province, citing climate change as the reason.
"The frequency of extreme weather events is increasing," Trudeau told reporters on the ground after the helicopter tour. "And that's related to climate change.
"So we're going to have to understand that bracing for a hundred-year storm is maybe going to happen every ten years now or every few years."
Over the past three weeks, a large swath of land from the capital Ottawa downriver to Montreal and beyond have been flooded as a combination of torrential rains and the spring runoff from melting snow caused rivers to overflow their banks.
Nearly 3,000 residents have been evacuated, and 4,000 homes in low-lying areas were flooded.
The military has sent in about 2,200 soldiers to help pile sandbags, secure critical infrastructure and aid in evacuations.
On Thursday a warship was also rerouted to the region to join in aid efforts.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said waters are starting to recede in the western edge of the province after cresting earlier this week.
But, he warned eastern parts of the province to brace for the flow now headed their way.