Flooding fears rising in Constance Bay
Constance Bay is on high alert this weekend; residents and cottagers fearing more than 50mm of rain could fall. Water levels are expected to peak by Monday according to city officials.
Jeannine Gaudette, who works at Lighthouse Grocery along Bayview Drive in Constance Bay remembers the flood in May of 2017 damaging homes and basements along the Ottawa River.
“I'm hoping it's not like it was two years ago,” said Gaudette, “They’re saying we have a metre to go; so I’m hoping it won’t go past a metre because then there will be basements flooding.”
Record rainfall in 2017 caused significant flooding throughout much of the capital region; Constance Bay was one of the hardest hit areas in Ottawa; where 300 homes were damaged in West Carelton, a handful had to be demolished and rebuilt.
“Yes, we were not ready the last time.” said Coun. Eli El-Chantiry.
Jordan Erickson was one of more than 20 volunteers out in the cold outside the community centre in town. Erickson filled sandbags to be delivered to residents in homes in low-lying areas prone to flooding.
“Some of our neighbours were forced to evacuate and had to completely renovate their basement,” said Erickson,“We wouldn’t have been able to save our house because the time we would’ve been sandbagging, we needed to be placing the sandbags.”
The City of Ottawa has handed out more than 200,000 sandbags in the last three weeks in more than 20 locations; including 11 neighbourhoods at risk of extreme flooding.
“In 2017, that was a bit of a surprise, but today it's not going to be a surprise. And we are still concerned about the weather and the forecast ahead,” said Pierre Poirier, the city’s Manager of Security and Emergency Management. “What we're looking at is that we expect the river to rise, but we're not quite sure how quickly and to what level.”
Over the weekend city officials will be keeping a close eye on levels in West Carleton and the Upper Rideau Valley...
“It changes daily because it's really dependent on the precipitation we receive and the weather conditions,” said City of Ottawa Director of Roads and Parking Laila Gibbons.
Residents will be seeking relief knowing the worst is likely yet to come.