Army prepares to move into Clarence-Rockland Sunday

The east Ottawa community of Clarence-Rockland is set to receive another 500,000 sandbags this afternoon ahead of the expected arrival of Canadian Armed Forces members on Sunday.

Military arrived in Cumberland Saturday, expected in Clarence-Rockland on Sunday

Ottawa firefighters are assisting residents in Cumberland as floodwaters continue to rise. (Pascale Langlois/Radio-Canada)

The community of Clarence-Rockland is set to receive another 500,000 sandbags this afternoon ahead of the expected arrival of Canadian Armed Forces members on Sunday.

Water levels in the Clarence-Rockland and Alfred-Plantagenet area have risen 0.35 metres over the last 48 hours and are near the levels observed in May 2017 flooding, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) said in a news release Saturday.

"Levels are projected to rise an additional 0.4 to 0.5 metres above the May 2017 elevation over the next three days," the authority said.

The city said 100,000 sandbags are already available to residents, with another half a million expected to arrive Saturday afternoon. 

The sandbags will be available at the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena at 1450 Du Parc Ave.

When soldiers arrive, they'll be touring the flooded area to assess what needs to be done and will then help build and reinforce sandbag walls, according to the release. 

County Road 17 between Chamberland and Laporte streets is currently closed and will reopen at 8 p.m. Saturday. 

Residents affected by the flooding are being encouraged to leave their homes and go to the shelter the Clarence Creek Arena at 418 Lemay St. 

In response to a complaint from the community, police are asking people not to tour the shoreline in motorized boats, saying in a news release that the vehicles' wakes are causing more damage. 

The Township of Alfred-Plantagenet, just east of Clarence-Rockland, declared a state of emergency Saturday morning, advising residents to pick up sandbags if needed at the Municipal Garage at 1963 Hotel de Ville St. in Lefaivre, Ont. 

Army arrives in Cumberland

Soldiers arrived in Cumberland Saturday. Some residents had previously expressed frustration that the army hadn't arrived earlier, with Coun. Stephen Blais calling it "bad for morale."

Water levels east of Cumberland have risen about 0.35 metres over the last 48 hours and are currently just below those levels reached in May 2017, according to the RVCA.

Levels are expected to rise an additional 0.4 to 0.6 metres above 2017 levels, and are projected to peak on Tuesday.

Efforts to protect homes in nearby Cumberland are continuing, with volunteers filling, tying and moving hundreds of sandbags.

"Our community is not affected, but if we were, we would love the support of our neighbours so we're here helping in a small way," said volunteer Trudy Adams, who lives in Beacon Hill North. "If many people help a little bit, it'll work well."

Volunteers help fill sandbags in Cumberland on Saturday. (Pascale Langlois/Radio-Canada)

The city has opened a support centre at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum at 2940 Old Montreal Rd. Showers are available at the R.J. Kennedy Arena at 1115 Dunning Rd.

On Saturday and Sunday it's open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and offers food, toilets, Wi-Fi, electrical outlets to charge devices, as well as access to staff from the Red Cross, the city's emergency social services department, and Ottawa Public Health.

Glen Roberts' property in Cumberland is surrounded by a wall of sandbags nearly six feet high. He said he's frustrated by the situation and by the attitudes of some politicians. 

"Not everybody likes carbon tax, but there's obviously climate change," he said. "And when I hear politicians not address climate change, or they want to make statements at gas stations, it goes beyond grade three logic."

Glen Roberts surrounded his home with a wall of sandbags in an attempt to keep floodwaters out on Saturday. (Pascale Langlois/Radio-Canada)

As the water continues to rise, high spirits are starting to flag in the community after days of anxiety, Adams said. 

"Mother nature just doesn't want to give anyone a break so I think morale is tough right now," she said. "But when you come on a day like this, it feels good to see everyone out rallying together and we will get through it."


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