Ottawa

Wet weekend ahead prompts flood warning

With days of rain in the forecast and a significant snowpack that's still melting off, people living along the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers could see some flooding this weekend, authorities warned Tuesday.

Rivers could rise to 2017 levels, regulator warns

The Gatineau River spills over its banks along Hurtubise Boulevard on Friday, April 21, 2017. Officials in Gatineau are warning residents of the same area, along with several others, to prepare for more possible flooding this weekend. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

With days of rain in the forecast and a significant snowpack that's still melting off, people living along the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers could see some flooding this weekend, authorities warned Tuesday.

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board, the agency that manages the river's reservoirs, said water levels could reach as high as they did in April 2017, when severe flooding began in parts of Ottawa and Gatineau, eventually forcing hundreds of people from their homes.

"With significant rainfall forecasted later this week, levels will exceed minor flood levels over the Easter weekend in flood-prone areas along the Ottawa River," according to the board.

It's warning of potential flooding in Britannia, Lac Deschenes, Pointe-Gatineau, Cumberland, Rockland and Thurso.

In addition to the dense snowpack, which is twice as deep as usual for this time of year, the forecast calls for three or four days of rain, beginning Thursday. Some forecasts are calling for as much as 55 millimetres.

Gatineau prepared 

Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said the city is prepared this time.

"We have been preparing for many weeks. We have mobilized all the personnel this morning, but we have done a lot of work before," he said. "I don't think we could be more ready."

He said the warning of potential flooding is a painful reminder for many residents.

"It brings back all those memories and those bad moments we went through together," said Pedneaud-Jobin.

According to the city, vulnerable areas of Gatineau include: rue Cartier, the area between rues René and Blais, and the east end of rue Jacques-Cartier in Pointe-Gatineau on the Gatineau River, as well as the area bordered by rues Riviera and Saint-Sauveur and boulevard Hurtubise on the Ottawa River.

The city is also warning residents of chemins Fraser and Queen's Park in the Alymer sector, and chemin Fer-à-Cheval in Masson-Angers.

Sandbags will be available at several locations near those areas, beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

with files from Radio-Canada

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