Ottawa

2019 floods: The situation in Cumberland and Clarence-Rockland

The rural community of Cumberland in Ottawa's east end and neighbouring Clarence-Rockland, Ont., are both under states of emergency as the rising Ottawa River threatens homes and businesses.

Whether you're a resident or volunteer, here's what you need to know

Water pools in front of a doghouse in Ottawa's Cumberland neighbourhood on April 26, 2019. (Stu Mills/CBC)

The rural community of Cumberland in Ottawa's east end and neighbouring Clarence-Rockland, Ont., are both under states of emergency as the rising Ottawa River threatens homes and businesses.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson made the emergency declaration Thursday, and on Friday morning, Clarence-Rockland Mayor Guy Desjardins followed suit.

"It's just a question of time. We figure if the water keeps going up, Hydro One will probably cut off a lot of the power. They've cut off a couple of houses [already]," Desjardins told CBC Radio's All In A Day Friday afternoon.

"If the water keeps rising, it'll just be too dangerous."

As of this morning, the river was 1.4 metres above the April average, and is expected to rise as much as 70 centimetres more by the time it peaks on Monday.

That would set a new record, surpassing the high water mark reached in 2017 by 40 or more centimetres.

Here's what people living in the area should know.

Support centres

The City of Ottawa has opened a support centre at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, located at 2940 Old Montreal Rd.

Representatives from the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health, the Canadian Red Cross and Salvation Army will be there assisting residents.

Clarence-Rockland, meanwhile, has set up an emergency shelter at the Clarence Creek Arena at 418 Lemay St. that will be accessible as of 10 p.m. Friday. 

Residents in need of fresh drinking water can go to the city's water treatment plant at 125 Edwards St. between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to fill their containers.

The Eastern Ontario Health unit says people getting their water from wells should be aware those water sources can be contaminated during a flood.  Well water testing kits are available at the health unit's offices at 2229 Laurier St., suite 200, and at the city's client service centre at 1560 Laurier St.

Clarence-Rockland, Ont., Mayor Guy Desjardins said his community has hundreds of thousands of sandbags available for residents who need them to protect their homes. (Radio-Canada)

Getting sandbags

On Friday morning, City of Ottawa vehicles were out on Armstrong Road, dispensing sand to volunteers trying to stave off the rising waters.

The city has opened three other sandbag stations in the east end:

  • 2264 Colonial Rd. in Navan.
  • 911 Industrial Ave.
  • 29 Hurdman Rd.

In Clarence-Rockland, the city has made sandbags available at the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena at 1450 Du Parc Ave.

Three stations have also been set up on Pago, Wilson and Voisine roads — all of which run along the Ottawa River.

"We had a shipment of 500,000 come in yesterday. We're up to 80,000 bags that have been [filled] so far," Desjardins said.

Volunteers

Volunteers wanting to lend a hand to the Cumberland flood preparations can show up at the community museum between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

A shuttle will take them to and from the affected areas.

I feel for these people, because every raindrop coming down, you're just wondering what's going to happen.- RCMP Cpl. Chrissie Lapointe

"We're doing what we can. Feels like [we've filled] 500 bags," said Chrissie Lapointe, an RCMP corporal who lives in Alta Vista but was helping out Friday.

Lapointe and her coworkers took the day off to volunteer, and she pulled her own son out of school to help as well.

"I feel for these people, because every raindrop coming down, you're just wondering what's going to happen," she said.

Volunteers should bring appropriate clothing, footwear, water, snacks and sunscreen. Lunch will be provided, the City of Ottawa said.

Desjardins told All In A Day that volunteers would be welcome to help out in Clarence-Rockland all weekend. 

People who want to volunteer can show up at the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena.

Roads and paths affected

As of Friday at  p.m., there were a handful of smaller road closures in Cumberland, all near the Ottawa River:

  • The northern tip of Morin Road.
  • The entirety of Leo Lane.
  • Boisé Lane from Morin Road to its eastern limit.
  • Armstrong Road near Boisé Lane.

In Clarence-Rockland, a stretch of Lacroix Road was closed earlier this week for "an indeterminate period" due to a blocked culvert.

Parks affected

The City of Ottawa warns Barnett Park, on Highway 174 just west of the heart of Cumberland, could be at risk of flooding.

People should keep their children and pets away from wading pools and play structures in riverside parks.

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