Canada's Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale announced on Thursday afternoon (local time), May 2, that water levels in the Ottawa River have stabilized following record flooding in recent weeks. Water levels have reportedly peaked in Ottawa (Ontario province) and neighboring Gatineau (Québec province) as of Thursday, with officials now focusing on recovery and rebuilding efforts. The City of Ottawa indicated that the latest water levels represent a "turning point" in its response and has reduced calls for volunteers over the coming days. The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board indicated on Thursday that a "second peak" in water levels is unlikely and that flooding waterways should progressively subside beginning late next week.
In New Brunswick province, authorities reopened the Trans-Canada Highway near Fredericton and Moncton on Wednesday, May 1, as water levels receded across the province. The city of Saint John will reportedly continue to distribute bottled drinking water, well-testing kits, and cleaning kits to areas affected by flooding. Water levels in the Saint John area are predicted to fall below flood stage between Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5.
Lingering disruptions, including road closures, are possible in the abovementioned provinces over the coming days and weeks.
Rivers in eastern Canada have surged in recent days due to heavy rains and melting ice and snow due to high spring temperatures.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather and flood reports, anticipate continued flooding and associated transportation disruptions, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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