The first of hundreds of residents fleeing rising waters and spring flooding in the James Bay community of Kashechewan began arriving in the eastern Ontario city of Cornwall on Sunday.

The first plane with evacuees arrived in Cornwall Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. from Kashechewan, according to city spokesman Bob Peters.

About seven flights, each with 40 to 50 people on board, were expected Sunday, said Peters. As many as 350 people were expected to arrive in Cornwall.

Evacuees will be housed and provided meals at the NAV Centre on Montreal Road while they are in Cornwall.

There are also plans to have approximately 150 residents move to Thunder Bay. Another 250 residents left for Kapuskasing last week after melting snow-pack led to sewer backups in about 40 homes.

A state of emergency has been declared in several First Nations communities.