Mayor lifts state of emergency

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says he's lifting the city's state of emergency after 49 days. The measure was put in place on Easter weekend as floodwaters rose.

Special measure put in place April 25 as floodwaters rose

Canadian soldiers work to hold back floodwaters on the Ottawa River in rural west Ottawa's Fitzroy Harbour on Monday, April 29, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says he's lifting the city's state of emergency after 49 days.

It was put in place April 25 as rivers rose to record highs and Watson said the city couldn't manage it on its own.

As water levels began dropping, city officials said they would leave the state of emergency in place until things returned to relative normalcy in areas such as Constance Bay, Britannia and Cumberland.

More than 600 city staff were rerouted to those areas to help remove hundreds of thousands of sandbags last week, according to general manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte.

He said at Wednesday's city council meeting that 1.1 million sandbags have been removed from private properties.

Staff are back at their regular jobs and the city no longer needs volunteers, Di Monte said.

Both Watson and Di Monte thanked first responders, the military and about 15,000 volunteers for their help, adding flood victims would still need help as they clean up and assess damage to their homes.

Special garbage pickup schedules will continue in flooded areas, Di Monte said.


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