Risk of flooding along Aylmer shore, City of Gatineau says
Sandbags being made available to residents in affected areas
The City of Gatineau is offering Aylmer residents sandbags today as rising water levels could lead to minor flooding in the west end neighbourhood.
While predicted water levels are far short of what they were during last year's major flooding across the National Capital Region, the city says the minor flooding threshold could be reached Tuesday evening.
The water level on the Ottawa River at the closest observation point — in Ottawa, at Britannia Park — was at 59.26 metres above sea level late Tuesday morning. There is a risk of flooding once the water level climbs another 16 centimetres.
The river at Britannia Park hit a high-water mark of 60.44 metres last year.
Chemin Fraser the priority
Twenty-seven residences on chemin Fraser are considered the priority, the city said in a news release.
Affected residents in the Aylmer sector who can show proof of residence can get sandbags in Louis-Roy Park, located at the intersection of rue du Minervois and rue Louis-Roy.
The flood devastated Jacqueline Godman's house, which has since been gutted, raised on stilts and laid back down to repair the damage.
"We haven't even fully recovered from last year's flood and now we may be in a situation where we have to go through it again," Godman said.
The 90-year-old building was also struck by a tree last year in a separate weather event.
Godman said the city had previously said the water levels wouldn't be rising as high as last year and was surprised to hear about the flood watch.
"Immediately we got on our work clothes and started picking things up off the lower levels of our house," she said.
The City of Gatineau said water levels remain low in other sectors of the city, adding that staff are monitoring the situation.
Gatineau Coun. Mike Duggan said the flood watch is a way of taking lessons from last year's flood and responding to heightened concern from area residents.
"We didn't expect that the water would rise so quickly, but with the warm temperatures predicted within the watershed, which goes all the way up to Temiskaming, it's a precautionary measure," he said.
"We don't want to create any panic but we have to take certain measures."
In a statement put out Tuesday evening, the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board warned warmer temperatures and rain in the forecast could lead to minor flooding along the river this weekend.
The board said if significant rainfall is received, levels at Lac Deschênes/Britannia could rise between 50 and 60 centimetres.
- A previous version of this story stated the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board predicted water levels in the Britannia area could rise 110 to 110 centimetres. In fact, the board stated levels could increase 50 to 60 centimetres in Lac Deschênes, which includes Britannia.May 03, 2018 11:23 AM ET