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Army on the ground in flooded Clarence-Rockland; more flood victims registering in Gatineau

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About 100 members of the Canadian Armed Forces are now on the ground helping flood-affected residents in Clarence-Rockland, a small city immediately to the east of Ottawa that also borders the bloated Ottawa River.

Clarence-Rockland declared a state of emergency on Friday due to rapidly rising water levels along the river. Its neighbour, the city of Ottawa, has also been under a state of emergency since Thursday.

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The troops sent to Clarence-Rockland on Sunday morning came from the Connaught Range in Ottawa, where 550 military personnel were deployed this weekend to help with flood relief efforts, according to a public affairs officer for the Canadian Armed Forces.

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Water levels in the Clarence-Rockland area are “near the levels observed during the May 2017 flood,” the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority said in a news release on Saturday.

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Levels rose 0.35 metres between Thursday and Saturday afternoons and are projected to rise 40 to 50 centimetres above the 2017 peak level over the next three days, the authority said on Saturday.

The same day, the municipality said another 500,000 sandbags were en route for residents whose homes are threatened by the encroaching river.

Number of registered flood victims in Gatineau on the rise

Further west down the swelling river, 1,212 people — representing 575 homes — are now registered as flood victims with the City of Gatineau, the Quebec municipality tweeted on Sunday morning.

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Just 48 hours earlier, the number of flood victims stood at 713 people (342 homes); Sunday morning’s update marks an increase of 500 flood-affected people recorded by the municipality.

The City of Gatineau has not declared a state of emergency but three municipalities in the Outaouais region — Pontiac, Val-des-Monts and Saint-André-Avellin — have.

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According to the latest forecast released Sunday morning by the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board, water levels in the Gatineau/Hull marina area had increased three centimetres since Saturday morning and will continue to rise.

River levels in that area will swell another 61 centimetres before peaking at 45.60 metres on Wednesday, the committee that publishes the data projected on Sunday morning.

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However, these forecasts are “subject to a high degree of uncertainty,” according to the committee, and “should be used as an approximate reference only.”

The Government of Canada closed the Chaudière crossing linking Hull and Ottawa on Sunday morning because of high water levels.

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