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2023 Spring Flooding: Emergency Operations Centre Update

Updated: May 18, 2023

May 17, 2023


We are pleased to report that water levels have continued to decline along the main stem of the Ottawa River. At this time, all indicators are for a continued return to seasonal norms in river flow and elevation.

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is now transitioning its efforts to make flood recovery information available to residents.

The EOC is updating the City’s website to provide guidance to residents on topics such as sandbag disposal, utility re-activation, and health and safety considerations (e.g., how to disinfect and test your well water after a flood). With help from Ottawa Fire Services, we will also be distributing pamphlets to flood-impacted areas so that residents have a quick reference of easily accessible phone numbers and websites. The visits will commence this Friday and continue over the weekend.

We are planning for unused asset cleanup and sandbag collection operations to begin early next week. Residents are being asked to bring their filled/used sandbags to the curb for collection. Of note, sand and sandbags that have come into contact with flood waters may have been exposed to contaminants. Residents should wear gloves when handling them. Also, sandbag contents should never be disposed of in lakes, rivers, beaches, parks or other protected areas.

The EOC expects debris removal operations to take at least a couple of weeks. This will allow residents time for the removal of sandbags from private property without an artificial pressure to complete work when planning may be required. We estimate that there are approximately 140,000 sandbags in West Carleton, Britannia and Cumberland. We are also aware that some homes may have flood-related household waste/trash. This can be placed at the curb as part of regular garbage collection.

In addition to checking the City’s website (ottawa.ca/springflooding) and Spring Flood 2023 Facebook groupfor regular updates, we encourage residents to continue to reach out to 3-1-1 if they have any questions.

In the short-term, the EOC will keep in place the portable toilets that were deployed, as well as the supply of bottled water for residents that lost access to their septic systems or private wells due to flooding. The process through which to test private wells before resumption of use, for example, involves several steps over the course of multiple days. The portable toilets and bottled water are also useful to family members, neighbours, and volunteers who may be assisting with sandbag removals.


Thank you,


Beth Gooding (she/her/elle)

Director | Directrice

Public Safety Service | Service de sécurité publique

Emergency and Protective Services | Services d'urgence et de protection


From West Carleton Disaster Relief: "While we are happy to see the water start to recede, our most vulnerable residents will soon need help again with removing sandbags*** & flood debris. Some of our residents will also need help with removing flood damaged materials from their homes. If you are able to help in the coming weeks please sign up at West Carleton Disaster Relief.


***It is NOT yet time to start removing your sandbags.


While we're very pleased to see the water start to recede, it is not yet time to start removing your sandbags. Water levels are still high enough that significant precipitation could lead to more flooding. The City will announce clean-up efforts once the risk has subsided.

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