Belleville officials are looking for volunteers to help fill sandbags as concerns grow about local rivers overflowing.

On Thursday the municipality declared a state of emergency and authorities say heavy rains predicted over the next few days could send large stretches of rivers spilling over their banks.

Belleville fire chief Mark MacDonald says homes in low-lying areas are at the greatest flood risk

“There is some rain forecasted for Sunday and Monday, and there again, that will impact our levels probably one to two days later so Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,” he said. “Our message it still to be prepared and get those sandbag walls built and be prepared for the water to rise, probably close to another foot in some areas and that’s a substantial increase.”

More than 50 homes have already been evacuated and officials say as many as 200 more are under threat.

Authorities say one river peaked Friday night, two others were slowly rising, and a local lake rose 12 cm in 24 hours.

The city says this may end up being worse than the flooding of 2008, when levels were higher than they’d been in recent years.

Volunteers are being asked to bring work gloves and rubber boots to help build sandbag walls in crucial areas.