Boats banned on parts of Ottawa River
The federal transportation minister has temporarily banned vessels from two parts of the flooded, dropping Ottawa River.
The bans are until further notice between the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge in Ottawa-Gatineau, downstream to neighbouring Rockland. They're also banned from the Carillon Dam on the Ontario-Quebec border to Pointe-Calumet, Que.
Finally, speed limits are in place for three parts of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.
The ban "is intended to ensure the safety of boaters and shoreline residents, to protect temporary infrastructure in place, to avoid damage to property, and to allow emergency responders to do their jobs," according to a Tuesday news release from Transport Canada and Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra.
It said violators face fines and the ban doesn't apply to emergency and support vessels.
Police in Renfrew County west of Ottawa have also asked boaters in the Whitewater Region "to be mindful of the potential damage their waves may be causing to residents."
Drop so far ranges from 20 to 52 cm
The Ottawa River flooded in two surges this April and May because of a very snowy winter followed by a very rainy end of April.
Water levels were at or around those seen during the 2017 flooding in some areas west of downtown Ottawa, but didn't reach the historic highs of 2019.
Local Ottawa River water levels, while still well above average, have dropped from their peaks earlier this month. The declines range from 20 centimetres in Ottawa's Britannia area to 52 centimetres in Lac Coulonge in Whitewater Region.
The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board said Monday afternoon that levels are expected to keep declining, saying it would be about 30 to 40 centimetres from Ottawa-Gatineau to the area of Hawkesbury, Ont., and Grenville, Que.
The cities of Ottawa and Gatineau have asked residents with sandbag walls to leave them in place for now.
Gatineau said Monday not to assume flooded roads are safe when the water recedes and city crews have to inspect them first before reopening them.