River expected to reach new high

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The Ottawa River Regulating Committee is warning residents in low lying areas that the Ottawa River may reach new historic highs this weekend.

In its latest bulletin, the committee says the river is expected to peak at 113.75 m above sea level in the Pembroke area on Saturday.

That would pass the previous record of 113.67 m set in 1960.

The regulating committee said heavy rainfall across the region yesterday came after reservoirs in the Abitibi-Timiskaming area had already reached capacity.

“Excess spring runoff from this region cannot be stored by reservoirs and will continue to flow to downstream locations.

“The peak (river) levels could exceed maximum levels previously observed this spring and previous historical record levels from Friday through Monday depending on location.”

The city of Pembroke joined Renfrew County and seven other county municipalities on Thursday in declaring a state of emergency due to river flooding.

In Deep River, the town announced Wednesday it was monitoring river levels closely and encouraged any residents impacted by flooding to call the town hall. (See related story.)

Photo above: Deep River public works director Sean Patterson and foreman Dennis McMahon direct the placement of barriers around a flooded section of Balmer Bay Road after firefighters attended the area to check on local property owners.