Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Thursday, warning of "significant rainfall" in Ottawa. Around 20-35 millimetres of rainfall is expected in the area between Friday and Saturday morning. The Ottawa River Regulating Committee has estimated that the flooding will reach a whopping 11 centimetres above the previous record in 2017, due to a combination of heavy rainfall and spring snowmelt. Premier Doug Ford has spent the last couple of days at the centre of the Ontario flooding issue.
Doug Ford spent his Friday morning touring Ottawa's rural west end. The premier was spotted talking with a number of residents affected by the flooding. Ford even went as far give out his cell phone number to the local residents, a gesture he's also made in other situations in the past.
Ottawa isn't the only place in Ontario to be leveled by flood warnings. Kingston, Bracebridge, Peterborough, Muskoka, Thunderbay, Temiskaming Shores and the Kawarthas have all been affected by heavy rainfall, prompting a state of emergency in several areas. Ford met with Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith on Wednesday.
As far as government action goes, Ford has claimed that he is open to sitting down with community leaders to talk about what measures he can take to protect homes. According to CityNews, Ford is reportedly also open to the possibility of awarding affected homeowners compensation for moving to higher ground.
Ontario conservation authorities announced last week that the provincial government had cut their funding for the flood management in half. According to a report by CBC, the Ontario government had initially given conversation authorities 7.4 million for flood management. But according to officials, that funding has been cut by 50 percent.
Ford's cuts to flood management have caused him to face yet another wave of backlash. Many Ontarians believe that the premier is not doing enough to help those affected by rising water levels. Some consider his sombre visits with the affected communities to be little more than a publicity stunt:
According to a report by CityNews, the Ontario government asked for federal assistance on Thursday to combat the flooding. Further details on this are expected to come in at some time today.
Here are several photographs and videos of a very concerned-looking Ford at the centre of Ontario's flooding zones this week: