MONTREAL — Residents in flood-weary Quebec and British Columbia had reason for cautious optimism on Saturday as flood waters appeared to be retreating from several communities in both provinces.
In Montreal, authorities announced the city wouldn't renew its state of emergency as water levels appeared to wane across Quebec.
Fire Chief Bruno Lachance said the situation in the city had stabilized enough to allow the emergency measure to be lifted as of noon Sunday.
"The water continues to go down, so we're reaching much more reasonable levels,'' he said. "The water is also withdrawing from several properties which is giving us access.''
Paul Diamond checks his cottage on Lac-Saint-Pierre for flood damage on Saturday, in Yamachiche, Que.
Authorities reported water levels were dropping in most parts of the province despite weather forecasts calling for weekend rain.
At a news conference in Montreal, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said there were "encouraging signs'' in all the affected areas of the province, including in the Mauricie region in central Quebec, where more flooding had been expected.
He acknowledged the tough work ahead for many regions as they begin to shift to cleanup mode.
"The water is lowering, but the water is still there, and so we have a lot of days in front of us where we'll have to count on everyone,'' he said at a Red Cross aid centre in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough west of Montreal.
Sigh of relief in B.C.
In the southern Interior of British Columbia, people were breathing a sigh of relief as flood advisories ended for the Okanagan, Shuswap Region, Central Interior, East and West Kootenay, Columbia region and Mission Creek and the Granby River.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said cooler weather and minimal rain overnight kept flood conditions in a holding pattern, allowing some evacuation orders and alerts to be rescinded.
Residents were being warned to keep sandbags around their proprieties in place in the event unstable weather revives the flooding.
Malcolm Uttley walks back for more sandbags along a small canal between Kalamalka Lake and Wood Lake at the Tween Lake Resort in Oyama, B.C.on Friday.
Prolonged rain of up to 100 millimetres in the northern regions of the province has caused flood warnings to remain in effect.
The centre upgraded its warning for the Moberly River and Halfway River west of Fort St. John. A flood watch remains in effect for other waterways in the Peace Region and a high streamflow advisory is in effect for the northeastern region around Fort Nelson.
Residents in several provinces are facing a daunting cleanup task as they deal with the aftermath of heavy flooding in recent weeks.
Luke Henning and Bryce Stirling with the BC Wildfire Service prepare sandbags at one of the many emergency sandbagging stations around Kelowna B.C. on Friday.
The Ontario government has announced residents of central and eastern Ontario who were affected by recent flooding could be eligible for help with their expenses.
Quebec has been the hardest hit by flooding, with 4,700 residences struck by flooding and just under 3,900 people left their homes in 175 communities as of Friday night.
The province's finance minister assured citizens on Saturday that ``the envelope is open'' and that financial aid would be available.
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