Floods 2019: Communities under a state of emergency

As river levels continue to rise across much of eastern Ontario and western Quebec, a number of communities have declared states of emergency to help mobilize provincial and federal resources.

Municipalities affected on both sides of Ottawa River

Multiple properties in the west Ottawa community of Fitzroy Harbour have been affected by the flooding. (Ryan Garland/CBC)

As river levels continue to rise across much of eastern Ontario and western Quebec, a number of communities have declared states of emergency to help mobilize provincial and federal resources.

Ottawa River levels have — or are expected to — surpass those of May 2017 and won't peak until Tuesday or Wednesday.



The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency on Thursday and asked both the Ontario and federal governments for assistance.

Canadian Armed Forces members descended on the city the next day to help sandbag people's homes and critical municipal infrastructure.

Residents near the Ottawa River in Cumberland, a community in Ottawa, shore up their properties against the rising water. (Judy Trinh/CBC)

As of Saturday afternoon, nearly 20 homes had already been evacuated because of severe flooding, according to the City of Ottawa.


Downstream and east of Ottawa, the City of Clarence-Rockland also declared a state of emergency on Friday as river levels are set to rise 40 to 50 centimetres above 2017 levels.

Parts of the city were hard hit in 2017, with entire streets turning into canals.

Canadian Armed Forces troops were set to arrive in the area Sunday to help sandbag.

Canadian Armed Forces members help sandbag areas in Rockland on Sunday, April 28, 2019. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Alfred and Plantagenet

Following Ottawa and Clarence-Rockland, the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet declared a state of emergency Saturday morning.

Residents are being told to pick up needed sandbags at the Municipal Garage at 1963 Hotel de Ville St. in Lefaivre, Ont. 

Horton Township

The township in Renfrew County that borders the Ottawa River declared a state of emergency early Friday morning.

Sandbags and sand are available for residents at the Horton Sand Dome, 2253 Johnston Rd. or people can call the municipality directly to have them delivered.


The small township of fewer than 8,000 people nestled in between Arnprior and Renfrew in Renfrew County declared a state of emergency on Friday.

Hydro One crews were on the ground to help residents with power-related concerns, according to the township.

Whitewater Township

Anyone needing sandbags in the area can pick them up at 1798 Westmeath Rd. and sand is being deposited at various sites, the township said.

Officials are urging people to have 72-hour emergency kits available with enough food and water for that time.

Laurentian Valley

Township of Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett declared a state of emergency Saturday night as water levels continued to rise.

Residents can fill sandbags at George Matheson Park, 630 Forest Park Rd.

Township of Greater Madawaska

The township is warning residents that flooded roads may affect evacuation efforts and not to drive into areas that could become impassable. Sand and sandbags are available for residents who need them at three locations: Griffith Fire Hall, 25991B Highway 41, Griffith; Old Brougham Yard, 145 Flat Rd.; Calabogie Fire Hall, 12470B Lanark Rd.

County of Renfrew

The county is under a flood warning and declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon.

The county extends from Arnprior in the east, to north of Algonquin Park and encompasses the five municipalities above that have already declared states of emergency: Horton Township, McNab/Braeside, Whitewater Township, Laurentian Valley, and Greater Madawaska.

The county has to contend with three major river watersheds: the Ottawa, Bonnechere and Madawaska Rivers, all of which are at high or record-high levels.


Mayor Bob Sweet declared a state of emergency on Sunday afternoon.

The town has closed Centennial Park on the Petawawa River and Petawawa Point where that river meets the Ottawa River.

Rantz Road is closed near Highway 17 and River Drive is open to local traffic only.



Downstream of Gatineau, Papineauville declared a state of emergency on Friday. Nearly a dozen areas are isolated and in immediate danger of flooding, the municipality said.

The declaration will be in place until at least Wednesday, but it could be extended, Mayor Christian Beauchamp told Radio-Canada.


Val-des-Monts declared a state of emergency more than a week ago, on April 19.

The area has already seen significant flooding and troops began helping fill sandbags Thursday.

Residents who still need sandbags can visit the municipal garage at 1570 route du Carrefour.


The Municipality of Pontiac suffered severe flooding and tragedy early on when a 72-year-old woman died after she drove off a washed-out road early in the morning on April 20.

The scene of a washout in Pontiac at rue de Clarendon and chemin Bronson Bryant. A 72-year-old woman was killed when her car went off the washed-out road early in the morning on April 20. (Jérémie Bergeron/CBC)

Around 500 homes may have to be evacuated, Mayor Joanne Labadie said. Some of those residents may be able to stay at the Tim Horton Camp des Voyageurs in Quyon, Que. which has space for 108 people.


The municipality is doubly affected by flooding, sitting at the base of where the Rouge River meets the Ottawa River.

This image, taken from a helicopter, shows water flowing in the Rouge River near the hydroelectric dam at Bell Falls. (Radio-Canada)

It is also 23 kilometres downstream of the Bell Falls and a dam Quebec's Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said was in imminent danger of failing on Thursday. A day later, Mayor Tom Arnold declared a state of emergency.

The dam has so far held up, despite a nearly ninefold increase in water flowing over the falls.

The Bell Falls dam, on the Rouge River, 16 kilometres north of the Ottawa River, has been in danger of rupturing as the water level surpassed the dam's capacity by noon Thursday. (CBC)


On Wednesday, the municipality declared a state of emergency that was set to last five days. As of Sunday afternoon, there was no information on whether the state of emergency had been extended.


The community on the edge of Lac La Blanche has already experienced flooded roads. Quebec's transportation ministry closed a section of Chemin Rivière Blanche in the area because the road had deteriorated, according to the municipality.

Residents living along that stretch of road were urged to evacuate.


More than 200 people have left 51 homes, said Mayor Jean-René Carrière Monday.

He pointed out the bridge on rue Principale is still unusable, dividing the community in two.


There is a public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at 4 chemin d'Amour.

All roads have at least one lane available to traffic, the municipality said Monday.


This community north of Gatineau has closed several streets.


The community north of Montebello is thanking volunteers and officials who worked through the weekend to fill sandbags, saying water levels are expected to drop in the next few days.


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