Nearly 1,000 Gatineau properties at risk of flooding, mayor says

Hundreds of homes in Gatineau, Que., could be at risk of flooding even as water levels on the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers begin to stabilize, the city's mayor says.

Centre set up in response to high water levels on Ottawa and Gatineau rivers

From left to right, Lt.-Col. Victor Bertrand, Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, and Denis Bélanger from Quebec's Ministry of Public Security speak about the flood situation in the Outaouais at a press conference on April 21, 2019. (Yasmine Mehdi/Radio-Canada)

Nearly 1,000 properties in Gatineau, Que., could be at risk of flooding even as water levels on the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers begin to stabilize, the city's mayor says.

Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin told a press conference Sunday afternoon that 985 properties were in danger from the flood waters.

While hundreds of homes remain at risk, the rivers did not rise as high as yesterday's forecast predicted, according to a Sunday afternoon statement from the City of Gatineau.

For the entire Outaouais region, about 100 residences have already been flooded and 200 are isolated by the waters, said Denis Bélanger, a representative from Quebec's Ministry of Public Security.

Bélanger said 125 people have been evacuated and 75 roads are affected by flood waters.

Three Outaouais communities — Pontiac, Val-des-Monts, and Saint-André-Avellin — have already declared emergencies due to the flood threat.

The Ottawa River has overflowed its banks in some areas of the region. (Radio-Canada)

Victim relief centre busy

Nearly 40 people have sought assistance at the city's disaster relief centre since it opened Saturday in response to the rising waters on the Ottawa River.

The combination of heavy rains this weekend and melting snow has residents concerned that the river could still rise to levels not seen since the devastating floods in 2017. 

The relief centre, which opened at the Jean-René-Monette building in the Lac-Beauchamp district, is available to anyone in need of emergency assistance or shelter.

The Red Cross and city employees are providing assistance at the centre. 

"Municipal authorities are inviting all people who wish to leave their homes to register at the help centre or at 311," said Jean Boileau, the director of communications at the City of Gatineau, in a French-language interview. 

"We are also monitoring the condition of our infrastructure, while efforts continue to register disaster victims."

Street closures 

Water levels along the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers rose six to 10 centimetres overnight, according to officials.

The City of Gatineau said that levels increased by 29 centimetres at the Quai des Artistes, a public wharf in Gatineau, and 34 centimetres in the Masson-Angers sector overnight Sunday. 

Many Gatineau streets are now limited to local traffic only. Some of the most impacted are Hurtubise and Saint-Louis streets between Moreau and Blais streets, where between 45 and 55 centimetres of water are located on the roadway.

The city is asking people to avoid going into those areas in order to not interfere with the work of police officers and city crews.