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Eastern Ontario communities reeling as Ottawa River hits historic high

Last Updated May 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm PDT

A resident uses a boat to float sandbags to protect her home from flooding on Bayview Drive in the Ottawa community of Constance Bay, on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Work to try and save homes in eastern Ontario communities is on as water levels hit historic highs in some areas

The town of Pembroke has declared a state of emergency

The City of Ottawa also remains in a state of emergency

OTTAWA — Soldiers with the Canadian Armed Forces are working to try and save homes in eastern Ontario communities that have declared states of emergency due to historic water levels in some areas.

Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett says about 40 military members continue to work in his township, along with provincial officials, as hundreds of residents contend with flooding.

Bennett says his township, located along the Ottawa River south of Pembroke, Ont., declared a state of emergency at the end of April but sandbagging efforts continue.

Read more: Red Cross receives $2.5M funding from feds to support flood relief efforts

He says the experience has been straining for everyone including office staff, road crews and volunteers.

Nearby Pembroke also remains in a state of emergency, as does the City of Ottawa.

The nation’s capital made the declaration on April 25, which prompted assistance from the province and the Canadian Armed Forces.

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.

Read more: Ottawa River expected to peak in coming days as situation stabilizes in Quebec

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

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.