By the first weekend of June, most residents along the Ottawa River could refer to the spring flood of 2023 as a thing of the past. All it took was two months of anxiety, countless hours of hard work and approximately 170,000 sandbags.
Residents in Cumberland and West Carleton who still need to dispose of used sandbags are asked to leave them for curbside pickup by 9 am on Monday, June 12, which is the date of the last special curbside pickup.
In case you were wondering, here is how the 2023 river peak compared to previous historic levels, as measured at Britannia by the Ottawa River Regulation and Planning Board:
- 2023 peaked at 60.35 metres on May 5
- 2019 peaked at 60.68 metres on April 30
- 2017 peaked at 60.44 metres on May 7
Approximately 160 homes used sandbags to protect their properties this year. The City of Ottawa would like to thank the hundreds of residents who stepped up throughout April and May to help their neighbours prepare for and clean up from spring flooding. West Carleton Disaster Relief (WCDR) was instrumental in coordinating much of the volunteer work in West Carleton, to fill sandbags, distribute information and recover sandbags after the water subsided.
Other groups pitched in:
- Christian Ministries, in partnership with WCDR, coordinated much of the sandbag removals between Dunrobin and Constance Bay
- Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue provided three days of sandbag filling, deployment and support
- Independent community volunteers coordinated local cleanups in Willola Beach and Vydon Acres
- Students at West Carleton Secondary School and All Saints High School combined to provide 15,000 filled sandbags
These efforts supported the work of City staff, who filled approximately 80,000 sandbags as well as:
- visited 340 homes in West Carleton and Cumberland to provide information about flooding preparation and recovery
- delivered 173 loads of sand and maintained 28 sand filling stations
- maintained 15 portable washrooms
More than 10,000 unused filled sandbags are leftover after this year’s efforts. They will remain in storage until they are needed next.
City staff works with conservation authorities each spring to monitor and respond to conditions on all Ottawa’s rivers each spring. For more information on conservation authorities, flood cleanup in 2023 or flood preparation for future years, visit the Spring Flooding 2023 web page on ottawa.ca.