Flooding expected to exceed 2017 levels in Ottawas west end – OttawaMatters.com

Flooding expected to exceed 2017 levels in Ottawa\s west end - OttawaMatters.com
Flooding: Ottawa declares state of emergency, army sending troops
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has declared a state of emergency as river levels continue to rise, threatening to surpass those reached during devastating flooding two years ago.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement predicting up to 35 millimetres of rain by Saturday morning, and river authorities are now forecasting that in some areas, water levels could rise up to 11 centimetres above the peaks reached during the devastating floods in May 2017.

“For the Lake Coulonge to Hawkesbury/Grenville reach, levels have exceeded major flood levels and will continue to increase over the next few days,” wrote the board in their report. “Peak levels similar to those observed in May 2017 are expected in all locations, but will depend on actual temperatures and precipitation over the next few days.”

Watson said he's also asked for help from the Canadian Armed Forces, and has been told 400 troops will be deployed to key areas.

While levels on the Rideau River have stabilized, the Ottawa River is expected to rise about half a metre from Constance Bay to east of Cumberland by the weekend, according to South Nation Conservation.

The Mayor also said the Canadian Armed Forces are being called in to assist with efforts to combat the flooding. The mayor says approximately 400 service men and women will be arriving in Ottawa tomorrow.

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The city also says that the Canadian Red Cross and The Salvation Army will be on site to help triage any resident needs, answer resource questions, and help them find the service they are looking for.

Saint-André-Avellin is flooded by the the Petite-Nation river on Wednesday. Residents rush back to their house after hearing that the sand bags didn't hold up and the basement just started flooding. Jean Levac / Postmedia News

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency for the city in response to flooding and the rainfall forecast for the coming days. He said the Canadian Armed Forces have also been requested.

At a 4 p.m. press conference Watson said the army is sending 400 troops and Premier Doug Ford has pledged provincial support.

“At each location, visitors will be able to speak to representatives from the citys Community and Social Services department and Ottawa Public Health,” said the city in a release.

At the press conference, city manager Steve Kanellakos said the city simply doesn’t have the capacity to handle what might happen in the weeks to come, which is why he went to the mayor to suggest declaring a state of emergency.

With a rainstorm in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, the city has announced that they have declared a state of emergency due to the projected flood levels of the Ottawa River.

The city of Ottawa is opening three emergency community support as the 2019 flooding situation continues to worsen.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says "I will be travelling to Ottawa first thing tomorrow morning to meet with the Mayor and city officials, tour the areas impacted by the flooding, and meet with residents to ensure theyre getting the support they need from their provincial government."

At each location, visitors will be able to speak to representatives from the city’s community and social services department and Ottawa Public Health.

Mayor Jim Watson made the announcement late Thursday afternoon. Watson said with significant rain in the forecast, the city has also formally requested the assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces.

In addition, representatives from the Canadian Red Cross and The Salvation Army will also help triage resident needs, answer resource questions, and follow up on resident inquiries or direct them to the appropriate service.

"If we reached the forecasted levels, it would be a new historic record for this region from Ottawa to Pembroke," said Michael Sarich, the Ottawa River Regulation Secretariat.

The West Carleton-March support centre is at the Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Lane. It is open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Grandbois, whose grandparents live on the Ottawa River in Britannia, has taken extreme measures to prepare this year, building a sandbag wall around the entire perimeter of their home.

The Bay community centre is at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena, 2250 Torquay Ave., while the Cumberland support centre is at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, 2940 Old Montreal Rd.

Meanwhile, across the river, the city of Gatineau saw 100 more people register as evacuees of flood stricken areas on Wednesday, as water levels in the Ottawa River continue to swell.

Sarich is warning residents of weeks of flooding, saying the first peak of high water will come by Monday, but there will be another one coming from the North.

To date, 517 people have registered with the city, including 431 adults and 86 children, for a total of 242 households.

About 100 of the affected residences are around hard-hit Hurtubise Boulevard, anout another 100 from the Pointe Gatineau district. There have been no registrations from Aylmer district to date.