Intense rain floods basements, streets, fields in North Gower

Homeowners are pumping out their basements, drivers are manoeuvring watery streets, and farmers continue to wait out flooded fields after the latest deluge of rain soaked North Gower.

At least 80 mm of rain fell on Monday, a record for the capital

Farmers' fields around North Gower remain under water from ongoing spring and summer rain. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

Homeowners are pumping out their basements, drivers are manoeuvring watery streets, and farmers continue to wait out flooded fields after the latest deluge of rain soaked North Gower.

Monday's intense storm, which produced record rainfall in the capital, pounded the rural southwest Ottawa community with more water than many people could handle, and it's left some waiting for their properties to dry out before they can tally the damage.

Vehicles were forced to navigate through flood water in downtown North Gower. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

"I'd never seen anything like this since I've lived here," said Ron Doyle, who's lived in North Gower for 10 years. "I hope the water hasn't done too much damage in my basement. But I'm pumping it out right now as fast as I can. I hope my insurance covers it, I guess."

Ron Doyle stands in front of his flooded shop in North Gower. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)
He estimates there's about 25 centimetres of water in his auto shop, and he's worried about all his gear in there.

"I just hope I have coverage for an event like this, because if not I'm out a lot of money and a lot of tools that have taken me a long time to get," said Doyle. I've put a lot of time and money into my shop, and it's under water." 

At least 80 millimetres of rain fell on Ottawa Monday, and Rideau-Goulbourn Coun. Scott Moffatt believes even more could have fallen on North Gower, which is in his ward.

Heavy rainfall flooded downtown lots in North Gower. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

'A bad situation to begin with'

"[The rain] has really just added to a bad situation to begin with," said Moffatt.

"This is about the third or fourth flood event that we've seen in the North Gower area this spring and summer. It's been a very difficult summer for at least the farmers around here, but now all of a sudden what we're seeing here is impact on homes, impact on local businesses, because the level of the water is just so high."

This vegetable farm near North Gower has been dealing with flooding since the spring. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

Auto shop owner Theo Ebbers spent all day Tuesday pulling flooded cars out of his yard with a tractor. "I can't even imagine the damage yet," he said.

"In 43 years of living right in this town, and right here in this area, I've never seen the water levels come this high. Especially in July! This is unheard of," said Ebbers.

A tractor pulls a flooded car from an auto yard in North Gower. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

Farmers' fields around the community have been flooded since the spring, delaying the planting of many crops. Monday's rainfall will only delay that further for many farmers.

"It's challenging. It's challenging for the people who live around here. It's a challenge for the people who make their living off this land," said Moffatt.

He's urging residents and farmers to get in touch with their insurance providers to make sure they know what's covered in the wake of this latest round of flooding.

Farmers in the North Gower area have been dealing with flooding since the spring. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)
The parking lot of the fire station in North Gower remained flooded Tuesday. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)
Streets throughout North Gower remain flooded after Monday's rain. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)