2019 floods: What you need to know on Saturday
City of Ottawa is asking residents, volunteers to take a break this weekend
With the Ottawa River at its peak across the capital, the City of Ottawa says it needs fewer volunteers to help out this weekend.
The welcome news came Thursday afternoon, although officials cautioned it could still take some time for the waters to recede.
Even before that news, the city was already encouraging stressed-out volunteers to take a much-needed rest so that they don't burn out.
A limited number of volunteers will still be needed today and on the weekend, but it's expected they won't have to add to sandbag piles.
- The Ottawa River Regulating Committee puts out a flood forecast at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
- The Chaudière Bridge over the Ottawa River has been closed indefinitely due to high water levels.
- Westbound Highway 50 no longer has flood-related lane reductions, though the rue Saint-Louis ramps are still closed.
- Rising waters have closed or reduced the capacity of several streets and highways in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
How to volunteer
The city has temporarily closed volunteer centres for the weekend. Volunteers are asked to take the weekend off, but could be called on to assist again if the flood situation changes.
There are also other ways people can help.
How to donate
The City of Gatineau has opened a donation centre at Les Promenades Gatineau on boulevard Maloney Ouest, and it operates from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The city also opened a second location Saturday at the Galeries d'Aylmer on rue Principale. It's open weekends between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The centre's are looking for non-perishable food, cleaning products, personal hygiene products and clean spring and summer clothes.
The Canadian Red Cross is also collecting money for flood victims.
The City of Ottawa has opened three emergency community support centres to help those affected by flooding, at the following locations:
- West Carleton-March Community Support Centre is at the Constance and Buckham's Bay Community Centre at 262 Len Purcell Dr., open 24 hours a day.
These two centres closed Friday:
- Bay Community Support Centre at the Pinecrest Recreation Complex's Barbara Ann Scott Arena, 2250 Torquay Ave.
- Cumberland Community Support Centre at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, 2940 Old Montreal Rd.
The City of Gatineau has opened two flood assistance centres where residents can register for help.
- Centre communautaire Jean-René-Monette, 89 rue Jean-René-Monette.
- Masson-Angers service centre, 57 chemin Montréal Est.
The Canadian Red Cross has set up a family reunification information line. Residents can call 1-855-797-8875 from 9 a.m. to midnight.
- More than 1.5 million sandbags have been filled in Ottawa so far, which it says should be enough to fill the need for the rest of the flood. They're available at 25 locations across the city.
- There are 12 places in Gatineau where you can get sandbags. Nearly 900,000 of them have been given out.
Ottawans who get drinking water from wells should stop using their well if floodwaters have covered it, or if they expect it's been contaminated.
Bottled water and hand sanitizer is available from the fire station at 341 Bayview Dr., between 12 and 7 p.m., or there are water stations at 5201 Canon Smith Dr., 274 Morris Island Dr., and the intersection of Greenland Road and Armitage Avenue, all in the west end.
Residents on the northern end of Churchill Avenue are no longer being asked not to use their water due to strain on the sanitary sewer system, but are still asked to minimize their use.
For areas not mentioned above, check with your municipality for information.