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Weekend rain in Ottawa area not a major concern for agency dealing with flood

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority said the region can withstand the 20 millimetres of rain that recent forecasts are calling for.

Flood waters breach the Gatineau River and flood the neighbourhood in Gatineau, Quebec on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.


Flood waters breach the Gatineau River and flood the neighbourhood in Gatineau, Quebec on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

The weekend weather forecast is calling for less rain on Saturday and Sunday than was previously predicted and that may be good news for flooding victims, according to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA).

“The longer we can go before we do get some rain, the better it is, obviously,” Patrick Larson, RVCA Senior Water Resources Technician said.

“If we do get the 20 millimetres total for Saturday and Sunday that is in one forecast, then it may turn things back up slightly,” he said, “But we don’t expect it will have a large impact.”

But, he said that if the city gets the 40 millimetres that was previously predicted there may be more problems.

The flow of the Ottawa River has diminished considerably since it reached a record high on Monday.

More than 1,200 people were out of their homes in Gatineau at the height of the flooding, while in Ottawa 75 families were displaced.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau boarded a helicopter with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard Thursday to tour the flooded areas of Gatineau and Aylmer.

Trudeau urged citizens to donate to the Red Cross and said the federal government has contributed $1 million to the Red Cross and has programs in place to assist flood victims.

Meanwhile, Couillard said the compensation ceiling for victims of Quebec's historic floods will likely be increased and his government is considering changes to rules that bar people who rent homes from receiving government aid.

On the Ontario side, Ottawa residents have been told to document all their flood damage and save their receipts, but the Minister of Municipal Affairs has not yet activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program.

If activated, the program will only provide compensation for primary residents.

Ottawa Fire Services’ water rescue unit rescued two people Thursday afternoon after receiving a call that they were floating on a board near Lemieux Island. Both are now reported as safe and sound.

-With files from The Canadian Press

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