About 40 people from Eskasoni First Nation are staying in a Sydney hotel until at least Monday, due to concerns about flooding caused by massive ice chunks.

The Bras d'Or Lakes are frozen for the first time in decades, causing an ice backup into the nearby river.

Residents in six homes had to leave on Thursday night due to rising waters. Band leaders say a rain forecast for Tuesday could mean they'll be right back to the same situation, so they'll reassess the water levels in the river in the coming days.

Darlene Marshall is the housing manager for the band. 

"It's frozen at the mouth and backed up, and there's an ice wall at the other side. We have an old bridge area, so it's pretty backed up," she said.

Band leaders have emptied the oil tanks of nearby homes, fearing the ice might damage them and cause a spill. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs is helping cover the cost of the evacuation.