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Ottawa's emergency operating centre standing down on flooding

A home in Constance Bay surrounded by water. May 9, 2023. It could be weeks before floodwaters recede. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa) A home in Constance Bay surrounded by water. May 9, 2023. It could be weeks before floodwaters recede. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa)

With water levels on the Ottawa River back to seasonal norms, the city of Ottawa says its emergency operations centre (EOC) will be standing down as of Monday.

In a memo to council, director of public safety and emergency services Beth Gooding said flood conditions are such that the City can lower its posture and return to monitoring operations.

"Effective Monday, May 29, the EOC will be de-mobilizing and all remaining flood recovery activities will be managed under the Public Works Department’s Spring Freshet Task Force," Gooding wrote.

The city said last week that it was transitioning into flood recovery mode. At the time, a flood warning was still in effect, but conservation authorities have since ended it. The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority has a high water safety message in effect for Bobs Lake and Christie Lake until June 1.

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board says levels and flows at most locations on the main stem of the Ottawa River remain close to normal for this time of the year and are expected to be fairly stable. The forecast for the next week includes above-average temperatures and sunshine with no expected precipitation.

The city says it has already collected around 80 tonnes worth of used sandbags from residents who experienced flooding this year, but the public works department will continue flood-related debris removal for another two weeks. Sandbags will no longer be available at 28 of the 29 sites the city had set up for bagging. The city's website says you can still obtain sandbags at 29 Hurdman Rd.

Flooding along the Ottawa River reached or exceeded 2017 levels in some areas, but did not rise to the record highs seen in 2019. Several roads in flood prone areas of Constance Bay and Cumberland were affected by rising floodwaters for weeks. The city of Gatineau had similar issues, closing more than 40 streets because of rising water.

The rising water also caused the federal government to delay the reopening of a lane of motor vehicle traffic on the Chaudière Bridge and to issue a temporary navigation ban on the Ottawa River from the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to Rockland. The navigation ban was lifted May 12.

Pedestrians and dismounted cyclists will be able to cross the Chaudière Bridge as of Monday, but it will remain closed to motorists due to construction. 

The city says information updates for the remainder of the flooding season will be provided through the City’s spring flooding webpage. Top Stories

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