The recent precipitation has been concerning in that we’ve seen water levels along the main stem of the Ottawa River rise in all locations. We know that residents living in flood-prone areas have had a stressful week.
The latest forecast from the Ottawa River Regulating Committee (ORRC), however, indicates that water levels and flows are expected to stabilize into the weekend and should start to decline slowly next week with the return of sunny and drier weather.
Based on the current situation, the City has maintained its response posture this week:
- Public Works Department staff filled sandbags for ongoing distribution in neighbourhoods impacted by flooding.
- The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has deployed additional portable toilets and is making water available to impacted areas in West Carleton where septic systems and private wells have been affected by flooding.
- Neighbourhood flood water level assessments continue to be performed by City staff in West Carleton, Britannia, and Cumberland. In a handful of cases, Ottawa Fire Services is making visits to specific homes that have been identified to the City (either by residents or partner organizations) as requiring an additional level of check-in.
- The EOC continues to monitor and address impacts to City-owned roads, pathways, and parks. The list of impacted City sites is updated regularly at ottawa.ca/springflooding.
- The EOC’s Community Supports Task Force is liaising with a range of internal and external partners to anticipate resident needs, including related to mental health, such that the right supports are available.
Health and Safety of Residents
Whenever there is any flooding, it is vitally important to prioritize the health and safety of residents, as well as responders and volunteers in the area. The Electrical Safety Authority (easafe.com) is working closely with local utility providers to assess where it may be necessary to disconnect hydro due to flooding. Enbridge Gas has also attended flood-prone areas to assess where properties may require natural gas to be shut off due to elevated water levels.
While the impact of these required safety measures can be significant to affected residents, we are fortunately not seeing a large number of shut-offs being required at this time. To date, there are three homes in West Carleton requiring both gas and hydro disruptions, four other homes in that area requiring a gas disruption only, and two additional homes requiring a hydro disruption only. For additional context, these properties represent approximately seven per cent (7%) of the total properties city-wide that have put in place flood mitigation measures (e.g., sandbags). The EOC is liaising directly with the impacted residents and is updating the City website to provide guidance related to utility management.
Residents impacted by flooding are encouraged to call 3-1-1. The EOC has been made aware that in some cases, due to geography, some calls to 3-1-1 are going to Gatineau. If any resident is having trouble connecting to the City of Ottawa’s 3-1-1 directly, they can call 613-580-2400. This information has also been posted to the City’s flood website.
For the latest updates and for important information resources, please visit ottawa.ca/springflooding.