Spring brings floods to Ontario, heat to West

The eastern Ontario city of Belleville has declared a state of emergency as water from the Moira River swamps homes and shuts roadways in the worst flooding since 1981.

Six homes have been evacuated and more than 145 homes appear to be in the path of the river's flooding, which is also expected to affect several nearby municipalities, including Foxboro. Water levels were expected to continue to rise slowly until Wednesday, city officials said Monday.

Local residents were warned against drinking water from their wells if they are affected by the flood and to test their wells to ensure they haven't been contaminated.

"At this point we feel that we have things as under control as you can get them," said city spokeswoman Karen Poste.

Conservation authorities in the region of Quinte have given Belleville 36,000 sandbags so that residents can protect their homes, said spokeswoman Lucille Fragomeni. Meantime, officials remain on alert because there are still considerable amounts of unmelted snow in the watershed and it is difficult to predict when water levels will peak.

Meantime, spring is bringing exceptionally warm temperatures to Western Canada.

Regina was expected to break records with a high of 28 C on Monday, although some cloud cover risked putting the 1963 record of 26.7 C just out of reach.

"This time of year you can get almost anything," said meteorologist Bob Cormier. "During the month of April it's definitely a month of extremes."

He noted areas in southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba were also inching toward record temperatures.

But Cormier said residents should not get too used to the warm spell, because cooler weather is expected later in the week.

"I would think you should keep your shovel closer than your flip-flops," he said, adding weather on the Prairies can fluctuate between -10 C to 28 C.