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Premier Francois Legault said the time for debate is over: it's time to redraw flood maps and ban people from building in areas at risk.

The premier made the comments Tuesday while touring a public security operations centre where employees are working around the clock to co-ordinate relief efforts.

Many flood victims this year and in 2017 said they were surprised because they did not believe they lived in flood zones. Some of them said flood zone maps of their neighbourhoods confirm that.

However Legault said that after two catastrophic years for flooding so close together, it's evident that flood zones have changed and maps need to be redrawn.

In addition, construction close to rivers and lakes needs to stop.

“With what happened in 2017 and this year, I think we have to review the definition of areas where we expect to have problems. It has to be clear that you cannot build anymore,” he said.

The premier said that the $100,000 cap on compensation for rebuilding damaged homes won’t be changing no matter how much the home is worth.

“After you get the $100,000, you won't get any money from the taxpayers, so if you want (and can) afford to support those additional costs, it will be from your pocket - not from the government or the taxpayer,” he said.

Quebec Solidaire called for an emergency debate in the National Assembly to discuss the flooding.

“We have to send a signal,” said QS spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. “We have to send a message to the population that we are taking action. You know, this is not going to be 2017 again.”

Legault rolled his eyes at that idea, saying it was not necessary.

"It's not time for committees, and commissions, and (round)tables and forums. It's time for action. And I think we have all the resources to have an action plan and make sure that we find permanent solutions," said Legault.

He said the province would work with stakeholders to come up with new maps and regulations, but that the input of legislators was not needed.

"We do that with municipalities, with professionals, specialists who know what they are talking about. I don't think that Manon Massé and other politicians can be a lot of help drawing that," said Legault.

 

Worst is over, but water levels remain high

According to Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault the worst of the flooding is over in Quebec.

Floodwaters forced 10,000 people from their homes in recent weeks -- the majority of them in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac.

However water levels on the Ottawa River and its tributaries are expected to remain elevated for several weeks.

Officials said water coming from Abitibi-Temiscamingue and the Mattawa region near North Bay are expected to hit 53 centimetres above the norm on Thursday and Friday.

The Ottawa River planning commission said that water levels near Gatineau were at 45.09 metres on Monday night and could rise to 45.5 metres, which would be 30 cm higher than they were in the spring of 2017.

Environment Canada has issued a warning for the region, telling residents that freezing rain and hail are possible Wednesday. The forecast calls for two to four cm of snow, followed by 15 to 25 mm of rain.

Areas near Algonquin Park will likely get more freezing rain in the afternoon and evening.