NEWS
05/29/2011 04:38 EDT | Updated 07/29/2011 05:12 EDT

Richelieu River Waters Rise, As Rain Continues

(CBC) -- The residents of flood-stricken Richelieu Valley south of Montreal are still battling an onslaught of rain and rising water levels.

Hydro Méteo, the provincial agency that tracks water levels, warned that the floodwaters could rise another 10 to 15 centimetres by Monday.

However, public security officials urged residents on Sunday to stay positive, as good weather is expected to arrive around Tuesday.

They also said it would take at least three weeks for water levels on the Richelieu River to completely recede to normal.

Officials revealed the counselling hotline has been getting more than 100 calls per day.

On Saturday, Quebec Premier Jean Charest appealed for people to get themselves to safety.

"It is very important we keep in mind that we can fix a house and we can repair them and lose it, but life is something that can not be replaced, so that's what we'll continue to focus on," said Charest in a news conference on Saturday

Charest said he has also set up three task forces to focus on reconstruction, finding accommodation for those with damaged homes and how to prevent future flooding.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jack Layton, who plans to tour the flood region on Monday, urged the federal government to keep the military in the region.

Ottawa recently announced soldiers would only take a limited role in cleanup efforts, with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews saying earlier this week that job would be left up to the private sector.

The Canadian military has been helping provincial and local emergency services.

An organization called SOS Richelieu is hoping to gather at least 5,000 volunteers for a cleaning blitz on the weekend of June 11.

Resources for residents affected by flooding

Help Line:Tel-Aide Montérégie (450) 377-0600

Regional health clinic: Montérégie region Info-Santé 811