Many regions on flood watch
BELLEVILLE, Ont.—Teams of volunteers in southern Ontario and Quebec were preparing for flooding with walls of sandbags yesterday as they awaited heavy rain expected to hit parts of both provinces over the next several days.
Environment Canada said some areas in Ontario could get up to 75 mm of rain by early tomorrow while upwards of 45 mm of rain was expected in southern and central Quebec.
“Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible,” it warned.
Residents in both provinces already have been affected by overflowing riverbeds.
Several dozen homes and businesses were given evacuation notice on Saturday in the town of Beauceville south of Quebec City, where there was a kilometre-long ice jam along the Chaudiere river.
Police in Laval, north of Montreal, also warned of flooding.
The city made sandbags available for pick-up at several locations, explaining that a thick coat of ice from the long winter could make things worse.
Pierre Corbin, director of operations at Quebec’s Hydro Meteo, said his agency is monitoring several river systems across the province.
“It’s rare that you see many sectors affected like at the same time like this,” Corbin noted.
In Ontario, the City of Belleville, east of Toronto, is under a state of emergency and many homes were flooded by the rising Moira River, which is up more than 12 cm in recent days.
A City spokesman said more than 70 homes had been sandbagged with the help of nearly 500 volunteers, but there were no evacuations forced by floodwaters.
There were fears of even worse flooding in the days ahead, but officials yesterday sounded notes of optimism and told volunteers they could stand down.
Jennifer May-Anderson, a spokeswoman for local watershed group Quinte Conservation, said rain overnight Saturday wasn’t heavy enough to trigger large-scale flooding and that the river hadn’t crested like it did in a massive flood six years ago.
Environment Canada, meanwhile, wasn’t forecasting heavy rain upstream the Moira.
May-Anderson said a rainfall warning in nearby Bancroft wouldn’t lead to flooding around Quinte.
She said the water level, though at a concerning high, should stay stable over the next few days if the amount of rain upstream remains light.
“It looks like things are slowing down and levelling off, but we obviously are not taking our eyes off the situation,” she noted.