The body of Mike Gagnon has been found but a 2-year-old girl is still missing in Sainte Anne des Monts near Gaspe, Quebec, Canada. Mike Gagnon, his step-daughter Daphnee, and his wife Kim were swept into a river in one of the many flooded areas on Sunday, May 7, 2017.
Yesterday, May 8, 2017, the body of Mike Gagnon was found only a short distance away from where the car slid into the water. The girl is still missing and the search continues, reports CTV News. The mother of the child, Kim, was able to swim to safety. She was treated for hypothermia in the hospital.
On Monday, there were approximately 30 firefighters and police officers helping to search for Mike Gagnon and his step-daughter, Daphnee. Divers were unable to enter the water because the visibility was too low but they were on the scene in case the conditions improved.
The Ford Edge SUV that Mike Gagnon was driving got stuck on the road where there was an overflow because of the flooding. The river was filled with runoff from the nearby Chic-Choc Mountains. Excessive rain had caused the river to grow and the waters were strong enough that the vehicle was pulled into the river. Mike Gagnon and his family had climbed to the top of the vehicle but when the truck was sucked under water, they were forced to vacate their safe spot. The mother of the child was able to get to safe ground by hanging on to tree branches, but Mike Gagnon fell off the other side while still holding on to the child.
The river stretches on for another 7 km from where the truck slid into the water. After that, it empties into the St. Lawrence River. The river was swollen all the way to the point where it enters the St. Lawrence River, so everyone had to be careful. That did not stop volunteers from coming out to keep an eye on the river in hopes of finding Gagnon’s still missing step-daughter.
It has not yet been revealed whether or not the road that Mike and his family was travelling was closed, but there were already evacuations being implemented as early as Sunday morning because the river had risen so much. The Gagnon family had been driving on that road because they were going to get friends who were stranded in the forest near the area. Their friends had traveled to their location by ATV and managed to get out later.
Mike Gagnon was advised not to risk traveling so close to the flooded river by his father, Jacques Gagnon. He told Mike that it wasn’t worth the risk, but Gagnon went to find his friends that were trapped in the woods anyway. Gagnon’s father said that he did not know the area that well. Flooding would have also made the road unpredictable. Jacques Gagnon said that the road can get eaten away when the river rises that much.
Quebec is currently experiencing what many say is historic flooding. There have been more than 1,500 soldiers sent to Quebec to help people deal with the flooding. Rivers are swollen and some of the roads are breaking away, making it even more dangerous to travel. Over 150 municipalities have had to evacuate residents and 1,520 people have had to leave their homes. According to National Post, “Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said water levels across the province were expected to peak between Monday and Wednesday,” but this does not make the flooding in Quebec any less dangerous to residents.
If you are in the Quebec or other areas in Canada that are affected by flooding, please be careful. Stay away from large bodies of water and stay off closed roads.
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