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Flood Monitoring Continues as City shifts operations away from filling of sandbags

Update from the City:

We are continuing to monitor spring flooding through to the end of this week and beyond. We will have supervisors reviewing all areas daily to determine if any actions require our attention. Immediate and additional resident freshet needs seem to have been met for the time being.

The following is in now place for general preparedness:

Sandbag filling operations

• As of end of day Sunday, approximately 44,000 of sandbags have been filled and deployed for resident use by City staff.

• This is in addition to the roughly 9000 sandbags which were filled as a result of the West Carleton volunteer event and the additional 4000-5000 estimated sandbags filled during the All-Saints school event.

• In addition to what residents have used, stockpiles of filled sandbags are available in the earliest affected communities of Vydon Acres, Willola Beach, Dunrobin, and Constance Bay.

• Roughly 13,000 filled bags are positioned at various community-based roadside locations across West Carleton at early flooding onset locations identified through last week.

Sand filling Stations for resident use

• The City currently has 26 sand filling stations deployed at works yards, central hubs (such as the Constance Bay CC and Fitzroy CC, and community-based locations). Locations are posted on Spring flooding 2023 | City of Ottawa

• Sand, empty bags, filling stations and shovels are available at those sites

Current uptake assessment

• Based on a rough survey of the larger West Carleton area we have noted roughly 100+ properties that have deployed sandbags on their property and/or to have stocked some for potential use.

• Without residents assisting with reporting, we cannot verify the accuracy of this estimate as visibility from the road is a challenge in many locations.

• The current level of personal preparedness resulting from individual, and community led volunteer efforts appears to have met the general need related to the water levels observed through last weekend.

Water level forecasting

River Conditions Forecast

Last Update: 2023-04-25 5:01 PM Next Update: 2023-04-26 5:00 PM

Peak levels due to the melt of the snowpack in the uncontrolled part of the basin were reached on the main stem of the Ottawa River between April 21 and 23 depending on locations. Additional spring runoff due to recent rainfall on the western and northern portions of the basin is slowing the rate of level decrease in downstream areas. From Mattawa down to Pembroke, levels are expected to continue rising over the next few days due to increasing outflow from reservoirs in the Abitibi-Timiskaming region. Between Lake Coulonge and Lake Deschenes, levels are expected to be fairly stable over the next few days. In the lower river reach between Ottawa/Gatineau and the Montreal area, levels are expected to continue their slow decline today and tomorrow. Note that levels could rise again should new weather systems bring additional precipitation on the basin.

• Small decrease of water levels and flows at all locations

• Buckham’s Bay: water level is now at the 5yr (Water level that happens once every five years)

• Britannia: water level 5cm above the 5yr

• Cumberland: water level 30 cm below the 5yr

4-day forecast:

A slight decline of approximately 5cm is forecast by April 27th across all areas. As noted in the update, a precipitation event is expected on Sunday/Monday. The actual amount received will inform future modeling as the event passes.

As a result of the foregoing, we will be shifting operations away from the filling of sandbags at this time for two main reasons.

• Based on the available filled sandbags, we wish to prevent unnecessary stockpiling of materials beyond what is currently available. We are assessing how to manage excess unused and used materials as part of our current planning.

• By redeploying team members back into normal operations, they can continue with other storm response efforts, seasonal transition works and start of summer operations works. Some equipment will remain on site at the Constance Bay CC for potential future use. The rental tent will be returned at this time to control costs and brought back, if necessary, at a future date.

Our ongoing daily inspections will allow us to remain up to date on any needs which may arise and to direct responses if needed.

• As always, we will continue to monitor the river levels and forecasts and remain prepared to change our response posture as required.

• Through our monitoring, and on-going Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) mobilization, the City is ready to ramp up again, if required. The EOC is not demobilizing.

• We continue to plan/prepare to support residents when we are comfortable advising people to do things such as take down their sandbag walls, test their wells etc. This includes making sure our info on the web stays relevant/up-to-date.

We continue to be here to help at



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