Water levels along the Ottawa River to surge this week

Water levels along the Ottawa River are expected to rise this week, leading to flooding in several areas. Conservation authorities say levels will remain below historic flooding levels seen in 2019.

The South Nation Conservation Authority issued a Flood Warning fo the Lower Ottawa River from Arnprior to Hawkesbury Monday afternoon. The area was previous under a flood watch.

Areas of concern include Constance Bay, Grandview Road and the Belltown Community in the Britannia area, Boise Village, Morin Road, Leo Lane east of Cumberland Village, Rockland and Hawkesbury. Water levels on the river could rise as much as one metre in the next two to three days.

“Peak river conditions remain dependent on snowmelt and rainfall amounts. A rainfall event is forecasted next weekend that will add water to the river at a time when flows are near flood thresholds. There is uncertainty on the rainfall amounts and the areas that could be affected,” the South Nation Conservation Authority said in a news release.

The city of Ottawa says it is expecting flood levels along the Ottawa River to rise above normal levels by Wednesday or Thursday.

“The flood levels are currently below what residents experienced in the spring of 2017 and 2019. However, residents whose properties and neighbourhoods have experienced flooding in the past 20 years should expect flooding this week,” the city said in a PSA.

The city says it has 527,000 empty sandbags at the ready.

Sandbags are available at the following locations:

  • Leo Lane @ East Shore (on City Right of Way)
  • Armstrong Road at Phillip Road (on City Right of Way)
  • Maclaren’s Landing (Cottage Lane @ Laurentian)
  • Greenland Road @ Armitage Avenue
  • Stubble Road
  • Constance/Buckham’s Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Dr.
  • 29 Hurdman Rd.
  • 2145 Roger Stevens Dr.
  • 1655 Maple Grove Rd.
  • 1683 Woodward Dr.
  • 2121 Huntley Rd.
  • 4127 John Shaw Rd.
  • 2847 March Rd.

This follows a flood warning issued by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the Pembroke district.

The warning is in effect in the Pembroke District until Friday, MNRF said, and affects residents along the main stem of the Ottawa River, for the area of Lac Coulonge (near Westmeath) and downstream to Arnprior.

“Record high temperatures over the last week are causing the heavy snowpack to melt very rapidly in the uncontrolled tributaries of the Ottawa River,” the MNRF said. “Accounting for the combined effect of the rapid snowmelt and the on-going rain event, it is anticipated that the area will exceed the thresholds for the start of major flood levels along the Ottawa River at Lake Coulonge, and areas downstream (Chats Lake, and Lake Deschenes), starting Wednesday, April 19.”

The area could see around 10 mm of rain Monday and there’s a possibility of another 10 to 15 mm Thursday. Above-zero temperatures will continue to melt the snow.

The ministry says Pembroke is expected to see minor flood levels starting Wednesday and levels are expected to remain stable afterwards.

“The maximum levels to be reached this week are expected to be well below the historical high of 2019,” MNRF said.

The MNRF is telling residents who have experienced flooding in the past to take all necessary precautions to protect and secure vulnerable property near rivers and lakes and monitor water levels.

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