Ottawa River may surpass peaks seen this year, says river board

Click to play video: 'Waters still rising along Ottawa River'
Waters still rising along Ottawa River
WATCH: Water levels are still rising along the entire Ottawa River, more than two weeks after the City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency. As Abigail Bimman reports, thousands of homes already damaged by water could see more problems – May 11, 2019

With a significant deluge hitting much of eastern Ontario, the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board is warning that water levels could exceed the historic peaks already seen this year.

Initially, the river board projected that water levels near Ottawa “should not exceed the initial peaks” during this week’s wet weather. However, it revised that prediction in the latter half of the week.

READ MORE: With heavy rain in forecast, Ottawa flood levels could reach initial peaks again: river board

As of Friday, the board said the already swollen Ottawa River is expected to rise throughout the weekend — a rise attributed to significant rainfall that began to drop 25 to 45 millimetres over most of the Ottawa River region on Friday morning.

“Most reservoirs in the Abitibi-Timiskaming region are now filled and excess spring runoff from this region cannot be stored by reservoirs and will continue to flow to downstream locations,” the board wrote.

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The board is predicting that by Sunday, the Lac Deschesnes/Brittania area could see the same historic peak of 60.7 metres reached earlier this spring.

Other areas along the river could be hit worse, with the board predicting the Pembroke and Lac Colougne gauge points may surpass their historic peaks by Sunday.

READ MORE: Rain spurs Pembroke to declare flood emergency; local river levels rising to historic heights

“The peak levels could exceed maximum levels previously observed this spring and previous historical record levels from Friday through Monday depending on location,” the board wrote.

Levels in the Gatineau/Hull, Thurso and Grenville/Hawkesbury areas are not expected to reach the peaks seen this year but are still expected to rise significantly.

City officials have urged residents in the most affected areas to keep their sandbags up in case of further flooding.

The Canadian military, deployed to help with flood relief operations in Ottawa, is still maintaining a presence in the national capital, according to the city. Troops that have already left Ottawa remain on standby and will return if the municipality needs their support, the city said.

— With files from Beatrice Britneff

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