Ottawa River flooding touches every corner of the Ottawa Valley

As water levels are expected to peak at the end of the week, every community along the Ottawa River in the Ottawa Valley is being impacted by flooding.

Whitewater Region issued a state of emergency Wednesday in order to protect properties and the well-being of residents. The township says water levels in the region are nearing 2019 measurements.

Water from Chats Lake on the Ottawa River in McNab/Braeside is washing out roads in the Sand Point community, forcing residents to sandbag stretches of driveways. Residents there tell CTV News water only came up that high in 2017 and 2019 previously.

In western Quebec, entire communities are placing thousands of sandbags to protect properties from being strangled by the Ottawa River.

In Chichester, Roger Breton has been preparing for several weeks. He estimates he’s placed nearly 5,000 sandbags around his property.

“And we have to build it higher tonight and re-enforce it,” Breton tells CTV News.

“So we probably need at least another thousand sand bags made today.”

Breton moved to the area in 2020 and has never seen flooding on the river this bad.

“We knew 2019 was one in 100 years they were saying. The water was really, really high. So we weren’t expecting something like this.”

“We’re definitely over 2017 now and we’re working towards 2019,” says Chichester Mayor Donald Gagnon. “Hopefully, it peaks before then.”

Gagnon says with the rain and continued runoff, he’s heard levels in his region could rise another 30 centimetres by Thursday.

If that were to happen, levels on the Pembroke section of the Ottawa River would be within 10 centimetres of the historic high of 113.69-metres recorded in 2019.

“It’s damn close to 2019,” says Gagnon.

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