City admits it was slow to respond to west-end floods
City officials admit they were too slow responding to hundreds of west-Ottawa residents who are still experiencing the affects of severe flash flooding after a storm drenched parts of the capital last Friday.
"I would admit that I think we were slow in responding," said city manager Kent Kirkpatrick on Wednesday.
City officials said they didn't immediately realize the magnitude of the situation and how many people were affected.
So far, residents from 783 homes in Kanata, West Carleton and Stittsville have reported flooding problems. That number is expected to jump to 1,000.
"I'm not going to say that we dropped the ball, the proper procedures were not followed," said Acting Mayor Doug Thomson.
The city said it will continue ramping up support services for residents dealing with the aftermath of the floods.
Firefighters and bylaw officers were going door-to-door in affected communities on Wednesday to explain where residents can go for help and how they can file claims.
The city manager met with senior staff Wednesday to finalize new measures for west-end residents.
"Right now, we've got people out in the field - they've been there since Friday. We're visiting every home that's had flooding, speaking with the homeowners, trying to understand what they saw," said Kirkpatrick.
A fund is currently being set up for those without insurance. Meantime, four community centres have opened their doors to help affected residents looking for shelter and showers. Those centres are:
- Kanata Leisure Centre
- Goulbourn Recreation Complex
- Eva James Community Centre
- and Beaverbrook outdoor swimming pool
Over the next couple of weeks, Kirkpatrick said city officials will take all the information they've gathered and try to piece together an explanation of what caused the flooding.
Although the city says this is a "once in a century storm," residents say that isn't so. Some residents say this is the third time in a decade that they've been faced with severe flooding.
"It's rain. It could happen again tomorrow, or next week or two years from now. We just want it fixed, so that it shouldn't happen again," said resident Scott Robinson.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem