Canada capital declares flooding state of emergency

As waters are expected to rise up to 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) above peak levels reached in May 2017


Afp April 26, 2019
An official report published earlier this month said Canada is warming at twice the rate of other countries, bringing a higher risk of extreme weather events, including wildfires and floods. PHOTO: AFP

OTTAWA: Ottawa's mayor declared a state of emergency in the Canadian capital on Thursday in anticipation of rising flood waters and heavy rains.

No homes have been evacuated, but authorities expect waters along the Ottawa River to rise above levels in 2017 that saw the worst floods in Eastern Canada in half a century.

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Environment Canada issued a special weather statement predicting up to 35 millimeters (1.3 inches) of rain by Saturday morning. Together with the snowmelt that feeds the river, waters are expected to rise up to 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) above peak levels reached in May 2017.

In addition to assistance from the province of Ontario with management of the emergency situation, some 400 troops will be deployed on Friday to key areas to help fill sandbags.

"We can no longer do it alone," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told a news conference. "We are now beyond our city's capacity, and that is why we have called in the armed forces."

Ottawa suburban neighborhoods most at risk include Cumberland, Britannia and Constance Bay.

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Meanwhile, northeast of the city a hydroelectric dam on the Rouge River in Quebec province overflowed, prompting the emergency evacuation of some 50 area homes.

Due to its risk of breach, an alert was issued for communities downriver. The Rouge feeds into the Ottawa River east of the capital.

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