Champlain Township declares state of emergency over flooding
Residents urged to leave homes, not to drink from wells after Sunday fuel spill
Residents of eastern Ontario's Champlain Township have been told not to drink or use water from wells or the Ottawa River, following a fuel spill that happened only hours after the mayor declared a state of emergency.
Mayor Gary Barton told CBC News Sunday afternoon that he was declaring an emergency after about 20 to 30 homes in the township were either surrounded or endangered by flooding.
"We have a lot of waterfront along the Ottawa River. Our information is the river's going to peak tomorrow," Barton said.
"We have a large crew of volunteers filling sandbags right now, and we are in the process of declaring a state of emergency so that we can get all the assistance that we possibly can for our township."
À L'Orignal, la situation s'est dégradée dans les secteurs des rues Montpetit et Dufour. Deux résidences ont été évacuées. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/iciottgat?src=hash">#iciottgat</a> <a href="https://t.co/AzzkpasUfp">pic.twitter.com/AzzkpasUfp</a>—@denis_babin
Sunday night spill
At around 9:30 p.m., the township issued a media release announcing that fuel had spilled into the river and that people who smelled fuel in their water should leave their homes.
One hour later, they updated that release to urge anyone in L'Orignal, Ont., who lives on Wharf, Marston, Peter and Dufour streets or on River Lane to immediately find new shelter.
The township has now opened a reception centre at Ecole St-Jean-Baptiste in L'Orignal, one of the local communities hardest hit by flooding.
The township did not say where or how the fuel spill happened.
Help from outside communities
Rising waters were threatening multiple homes near the L'Orignal shoreline Sunday morning, and two streets along the waterfront have since been closed.
Two people were evacuated with help from the Red Cross, the township said in a statement Sunday evening.
Volunteer firefighters have been delivering sandbags to locations throughout the township, Barton said, and in some cases helping the people put them in place.
The township has also been receiving help from Hawkesbury and North Glengarry, he added.
Barton said that local MP Francis Drouin would be delivering about 4,000 more sandbags Sunday afternoon.
Residents who need further assistance can call the township's main line at 613-678-3003, he said.