Feds help with flood prep

UPDATE: noon

The federal government is heeding Quebec's request for its assistance as many parts of province brace for heavy flooding.

Quebec Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault made the request today, as officials in some communities have warned the flooding could be worse than the record flooding of two years ago.

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed in a tweet that federal assistance will be provided.

Guilbault told a news conference that the risk level hasn't changed, but authorities now believe the brunt of flooding will begin on Sunday and last longer than expected.

She says the assistance will include the help of the Canadian Forces, which is now discussing with security officials where to deploy resources.

Water levels are already quite high and are expected to rise sharply with warm temperatures, snowmelt runoff and the heavy rainfall forecast this weekend.

Across Quebec, municipalities have been preparing sandbags and reinforcing homes as the rain is expected to intensify in the coming hours.

ORIGINAL: 8:40 a.m.

Environment Canada is maintaining its heavy rain warnings for many parts of Quebec today, keeping property owners near lakes and rivers on high alert for flooding.

Water levels, already quite high, are expected to rise sharply with warm temperatures, snowmelt runoff and the heavy rainfall forecast through Saturday.

Public safety officials say minor flooding has already occurred in the Montreal area, as well as the Outaouais, the Eastern Townships and central Quebec.

Earlier this week, the Chaudiere River burst its banks, flooding a large part of Beauceville, south of Quebec City. Officials there called it the worst flooding since 1971.

Thomas Blanchet, a spokesman for the province's public safety department, says they want residents to be ready for flooding that could come quickly this weekend, and are imploring them to follow the instructions of local officials.

Blanchet says while there are no official evacuation orders currently in the province, some municipalities have issued preventative orders.

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