Ottawa River levels to remain ‘fairly stable’ or ‘decrease slight’ over the next few days

Water levels are expected to remain “fairly stable or to decrease slightly” along the Ottawa River over the next few days, as residents continue to monitor levels and prepare for flooding.

There was a small drop in flood levels along the Ottawa River in Gatineau on Sunday, despite the heavy rainfall Saturday night across the region.

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board says water levels are stabilizing in all locations of the river from Mattawa to the Montreal area. In an update Sunday afternoon, the board said the recent rainfall is adding additional water to the river, but it won’t increase levels.

“This will slow the rate of level decrease in downstream areas, but is not expected to cause any level increases,” the board said Sunday. “Water levels are expected to be fairly stable or to decrease slightly in all locations over the next few days in all locations.”

Environment Canada is reporting 5.9 mm of rain fell at the Ottawa Airport on Saturday. An official total of 8.3 mm was recorded in the Pontiac region Saturday.

In Ottawa’s west end on Sunday, residents and elected officials spent the day filling and stacking sandbags as water levels slowly crept up.

“Anxiety levels in this neighbourhood during the spring about flooding are always high,” Coun. Clark Kelly said. “It’s always incredibly encouraging to see the efforts by local volunteers. We’ve had people come down from Eganville, there’s someone from Stittsville, we’ve got city councillors from downtown and the south of the city.”

Thousands of sandbags have been filled and delivered, thanks to volunteers.

“If the water did rise, we could need more help when we are filling sandbags as fast as we can in anticipation of anything that may come next week, so we will take all the help we can get,” Kelly said.

The city of Gatineau shared “encouraging news” about the situation along the Ottawa River on Sunday, but added it’s “too soon to let our guard down.”

“Water levels could keep swinging back and forth for several days,” city officials said in a statement.

“Even though levels should remain well below historical levels, Gatineau asks the public to remain vigilant and to keep following the situation closely because the weather forecast for the second part of the week is still somewhat uncertain.”

Some roads in Gatineau are restricted to local traffic only due to rising water levels.

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Shaun Vardon

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