More rain forecast for flood-weary communities in Ontario, Quebec, N.B.

Montreal, Ottawa and many smaller communities have declared states of emergency

It’s shaping up to be another anxious weekend for flood-weary communities in Eastern Canada, with more rain in the forecast for an area stretching from cottage country north of Toronto, all the way to the Acadian Peninsula.

Montreal, Ottawa and many smaller communities across the expansive flood zone have declared states of emergency, prompting the federal government to deploy hundreds of soldiers to help with sandbagging and other relief operations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to tour Constance Bay, the riverfront village west of downtown Ottawa that has seen the worst flooding so far, on Saturday morning. He is expected to help with sandbagging and receive a briefing from officials in charge of the fight against the flood.

Despite a night that gave Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., a break from rain, water levels around the capital region are expected to rise half a metre higher than they did during a 2017 flood that was thought to have been a once-in-a-century event.

A morning report from the board that monitors levels in the Ottawa River says near Constance Bay, water levels are just shy of their 2017 levels and are forecast to rise another 47 centimetres. At a measuring spot near Parliament Hill, where paths and parking lots along the river are already underwater, the board forecasts a rise of another 75 centimetres before water levels peak on May 1.

READ MORE: Flooding in four provinces prompts states of emergency, evacuations

Rising river levels forced the closure Saturday morning of a heavily travelled bridge onto the Island of Montreal. Quebec’s Transport Department announced it was closing the Galipeault Bridge, a western access point to Montreal along Highway 20.

The department said in a statement that the closure is for an indefinite period. Traffic is being diverted to another bridge farther north, but the department asked motorists to avoid the area.

A close eye is also being kept on a hydroelectric dam, on a tributary of the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Montreal, that’s at risk of failing. Water at the Chute-Bell dam has reached levels expected to occur every 1,000 years, but Hydro-Quebec says it’s confident the structure is solid.

Meantime, a bit of relief is in sight for flood-weary residents of southern New Brunswick, with the latest forecast calling for waters to slowly recede in most areas over the next five days.

Geoffrey Downey, a spokesman for New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, says while it’s raining across much of the province today, officials aren’t expecting a lot of precipitation.

He says the five-day flood forecast is for the Saint John River to be below flood stage in Fredericton, and down to flood stage in Maugerville, Oak Point and Saint John, by Thursday.

In southern Manitoba, the rising Red River has forced some road closures and a small number of evacuations but earlier predictions for major flooding between the U.S. border and Winnipeg haven’t come to pass.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Skidegate daycare staff recognized for creative care during COVID-19

Staff have been using social media to share isolation activities, read stories and sing songs

Village of Queen Charlotte approves business facade improvement grants

Applications from Gather, dental clinic, A Level Up approved, leaving about $14,000 up for grabs

Recycling services in Queen Charlotte, Port Clements expanding next week

Residential plastics will be accepted again, but most residential transfer stations remain closed

‘At least they’re safe:’ Arrival of new Syrian refugee family to Haida Gwaii delayed due to COVID-19

Operation Refugees says family stuck in Lebanon with no flights, ‘but at least they’re safe’

‘Good news:’ Council of the Haida Nation releases guidelines for expanding social circles

Next steps also say outdoor spaces such as parks, playgrounds, trails may be reopening for day use

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Most Read