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Waters to rise again in Ottawa area, even as N.B. turns to flood recovery mode

Last Updated May 12, 2019 at 10:37 am PDT

Two soldiers walk down a street in a flooded neighbourhood in Rigaud, Que. on Monday, April 29, 2019. Water levels are expected to rise again this weekend between Ottawa and Montreal, even as New Brunswick's floods are effectively over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Water levels are expected to rise again this weekend between Ottawa and Montreal, even as New Brunswick’s floods are effectively over.

Officials warned late Thursday that “significant” rainfall is expected to raise water levels in the Ottawa/Gatineau area down to Montreal, although they aren’t expected to exceed the previous highs of earlier this spring.

Water levels to the west of Ottawa, between Mattawa and Lac Deschenes, will also rise this weekend, and the peak could exceed maximum levels earlier this spring — and even previous historical highs.

The City of Ottawa — which has been in a state of emergency since April 25 — said with water levels expected to rise in the city, people should keep sandbag walls intact until the city says it is safe to remove them.

Meantime, New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization said Friday the Saint John River is now below flood level in all regions of the province as recovery efforts continue.

EMO says satellite and temporary offices are opening to assist those affected by flooding with financial assistance claims.

Satellite offices in Saint John, Hampton, Fredericton and Burton will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

A temporary office has already opened in the Maugerville Community Centre and three more will open next week in Grand Bay-Westfield, Jemseg, and Quispamsis.

Claims officers will help with applications and answer questions about the recovery process.

Emergency Measures says so far, health and safety teams have completed 293 safety inspections aimed at giving flood victims the information they need about the repairs required to return to their homes.

The Canadian Red Cross says 69 households remain in temporary housing because of the earlier flooding, and it’s offering $600 to help meet immediate needs under its own assistance package.

The province says water sampling kits are also now available for private well owners at designated Service New Brunswick centres in Fredericton, Burton, Chipman, Sussex, Hampton and Saint John.

The Transportation Department reports 75 roads have reopened to traffic and only 13 remain closed for inspections and repairs.

The Canadian Press