Canadian capital of Ottawa declares state of emergency as waters swell

Ottawa declares state of emergency due to flooding

Ontario Stands with the City of Ottawa

This year's flooding could exceed 2017's levels by 40 to 50 centimetres in some areas by the middle of next week, officials have said.

About 400 soldiers have been deployed to the Ottawa area to help sandbag and assist with other flood operations.

Many residents in Constance Bay, Britannia and Cumberland are racing against time to fortify their homes with sandbags before river levels peak early next week.

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By Friday morning, Environment Canada had upgraded the special weather statement to a rainfall warning "due to the limited ability of the ground to absorb this rainfall", the agency said in a notice posted on its website.

This, he furthered, includes a request by the Solicitor General Sylvia Jones to Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale for assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces in dealing with the flooding. Ford says when you see the affected people face-to-face it "just rips your heart out". Ford said he is willing to sit down with the communities to talk about what is needed to protect their homes or offer compensation to move to higher ground, but didn't say what Ontario might be looking at doing yet.

In Gatineau, Que., across the river from Ottawa, the navy has been helping with evacuations by boat.

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The prospect of more rain over the next 24 to 48 hours triggered concerns on Thursday that the hydroelectric dam at Bell Falls in the western part of Quebec could be at risk of failing because of rising water levels. He said Hydro Quebec expected the flow could rise to 1,200 cubic metres per second of water over the next two days.

The 104-year-old dam was built to withstand flows of up to about 980 cubic metres per second, which is what it is now seeing.

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