Doug Ford links Ontario floods to climate change: ‘Just rips your heart out’
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he believes climate change is among the reasons eastern Ontario homeowners are trying to save their homes from flooding for the second time in three years.
Ford was in the rural west end of Ottawa Friday morning, touring flooded areas along the Ottawa River, where officials are warning a new rain storm will make water levels rise rapidly over the next few days, likely exceeding the levels seen during a 2017 flood.
Ford says when you see the affected people face-to-face it “just rips your heart out.”
“These folks can’t go through this every single year,” he said.
He said local officials desperately need volunteers to help fill and distribute sandbags.
The Ottawa River is just one of several water bodies overflowing this week, forcing thousands of Canadians from their homes in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, where the Saint John River is experiencing a major flood for the second year in a row.
In Quebec, officials said Thursday 3,148 homes are already underwater and another 2,305 are surrounded by it, with 1,111 people out of their residences. In New Brunswick, 84 roads are closed because of flooding, including a portion of the TransCanada Highway.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency because of flooding Thursday, with another 20 mm to 50 mm of rain forecast to fall Friday and Saturday.
Residents in several small communities on the eastern and western edges of Ottawa are sandbagging to keep their homes dry, while paths along the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, including behind Parliament Hill, are underwater. About 400 soldiers have been deployed to the Ottawa area to help sandbag and assist with other flood operations. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)