As water levels have stabilized in several regions across Quebec, today, the Ottawa River Regulation Board announced that they revised the forecast for the coming days as a rise in water levels Coulonge Lake and the surrounding area. The mayor of Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Gilles Dionne, and mayor of Fort-Coulonge, Gaston Allard, whose municipalities have been affected by the water levels of the Coulonge during this flooding period, gave more details:
A second wave of floods is expected to continue until May 8th, while forecasts indicate that the water level could reach 109.05m above mean sea level. As a comparison, this first wave was 109.10m and this morning water levels were at 108.86m.
According to the forecast at 9am Thursday morning, levels are expected to increase again in the next few days between Mattawa and Coulonge Lake, due to rising flows at the exit of the reservoir in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The level of the Coulonge river is, however, declining, which is a “relief” for the municipalities of Mansfield and Fort-Coulonge.
Prepare for the Second Wave
With the knowledge ahead of time that the water will continue to increase, the municipalities have time to be better prepared, as explained by Dionne and Allard.
The municipalities of Mansfield and Fort-Coulonge will be establishing a plan over the next few days with the various stakeholders involved in this spring flooding for dealing with this second wave.
Residents whose homes are at risk of flooding can prepare for this second wave by strengthening their dikes and filling other sandbags. Municipalities are also appealing to volunteers to be “ready in advance” to make sandbag production more efficient.