Premier Jean Charest says the presence of Canada's Armed Forces may have to be enhanced because of changing conditions along Quebec's flooding Richelieu River.
Water levels were expected to rise again sometime Sunday. Strong winds from the south, forcing water into the river from Lake Champlain, could raise levels by 15 centimetres in some areas, officials said.
After visiting with mayors in the region on Saturday, Charest said he wants Canadian troops to stay and help in the Montérégie region.
At one point, close to 800 Armed Forces personnel were helping flood victims, but all but about 200 have since left. Charest said more troops could be needed as the weather changes.
"We are going to ask the Armed Forces to be vigilant with the change in the weather patterns in the next few days. We may need them in certain specific municipalities to help out," he said.
Charest also said he wants Defence Minister Peter MacKay to meet with local mayors to gain a better understanding of the situation. MacKay has said that although the number of troops has been cut, members of the military will help out for as long as they're needed.
About 3,000 homes have been flooded and nearly 1,000 people have been out of their homes for the past five weeks.
Charest said the government may increase the amount of money it gives to flood victims, currently capped at $150,000.
Residents growing impatient
Gerard Dutil, mayor of St-Paul-de-l'Île-aux-Noix, said half the town's homes have been damaged by water. He said while residents have been coping well, many are getting fed up.
"It's not easy, you know. They get out of their home and they got to travel by boat to get to work. They travel by boat to send their kids to schools and to get groceries," Dutil said.
"And over 200 homes [in town] have been evacuated. So those people are going to come back later on and they're going to have to see their homes in what condition? And all that stress for over a month," he said.
Dutil said this spring's flooding is the worst in the region, in more than 100 years.
Officials have said it could take weeks for water levels to return to normal.
Some people in the flooded Montérégie region had their spirits buoyed by Canada's Governor General on Saturday.
David Johnston toured the flood zone and met with flood victims and volunteers. Like Charest, he also met with the mayors of some of the affected municipalities.