Ottawa River expected to exceed minor flood levels in Ottawa and Rockland areas next week

The Ottawa River is expected to reach “minor flood levels” through the Ottawa area early next week, potentially flooding several streets and lawns in low-lying areas.

Conservation authorities issued a Flood Watch on Friday for the Lower Ottawa River from Arnprior to Hawkesbury. The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board says the Ottawa River levels are expected to rise due to ongoing snowmelt and possible rain next week.

“The record-setting temperatures over the last few days have triggered a rapid melt of this snow, leading to rising water levels and increased flow in tributaries and on the main stem of the Ottawa River downstream of Fort Coulonge,” the board said.

“A rainfall event forecasted for Sunday and Monday will add to the flow in these watercourses.”

Officials anticipate that water levels will exceed minor flooding levels next week, impacting several streets and lawns in low-lying areas. Areas that could see minor flooding include Lake Coulonge, Chats Lake, Britannia, Pointe-Gatineau, Cumberland, Clarence-Rockland and Thurso.

“While there are currently no major flooding indicators of concern, it is still too early to forecast peak river conditions which remain dependent on snowmelt and rainfall amounts,” the conservation authorities said.

Officials say most of the water currently entering the Ottawa River is located in areas where there are no reservoirs or retention capacity.

Residents in flood-prone areas are urged to follow changing conditions and take necessary measures to prevent possible flood damage.

“Residents are advised to stay away from watercourses where flows are high and where banks might be unstable,” the conservation authorities said. “Parents are encouraged to explain dangers to children and provide appropriate supervision around all waterbodies.”

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board says the minor flood level is defined as the level at which parts of some streets, lawns and parks begin to flood, but no or few households will be affected.

“Water levels are currently expected to remain below major flood thresholds in all locations,” the board said.

A Flood Watch statement covering the Lower Ottawa River from Arnprior to Hawkesbury areas will remain in effect until April 28.

Flood Warning

A Flood Warning remains in effect for properties around Bob’s Lake and Christie Lake in the Tay River Watershed.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority says Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels in the area.

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