Forecast of significant rain puts Ottawa waterways at risk of flooding

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Higher temperatures could mean melting snow and rising water levels. Here's your flood insurance primer – Mar 9, 2019

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board is warning residents who live along the Ottawa River, including those in Ottawa and Gatineau, of a potential flood risk if the forecasted rain should fall.

The board monitors water levels along the Ottawa river and says the current snow levels along the river basin are at twice the normal depth for this time of the year.

The board is concerned that levels may reach the same as those experienced in April 2017 though they won’t reach the maximum.

According to the board, the areas that may be the most affected are:

  • Lake Coulonge
  • Chats Lake
  • Britannia / Lac Deschenes
  • Pointe-Gatineau
  • Ottawa / Cumberland
  • Rockland
  • Thurso

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With the forecast calling for 30 – 50 mm of rain beginning Thursday, the board is urging those who may have concerns about the flooding to contact their municipalities.

“Combined with spring runoff from the central and southern portions of the watershed, this precipitation is expected to cause a rapid and sustained increase in water levels and flows on the main stem of the Ottawa River,” said the board in a release.

Updates on the water levels of the Ottawa river can be found on the board’s website.

A similar warning was issued by the Rideau Valley Conservation Area in respect to waterways along the Rideau Valley watershed such as Bob’s Lake, Christie Lake and Tay River as well as the Jock River and parts of the Rideau River between Burritt’s Rapids and Kars.

In 2017, a total of 310 homes were affected by flooding in Ottawa due to heavy rainfall. That year was one of the rainiest in the city’s history with over 1,000 mm of rain falling on the capital as of October of that year. Including snowfall, the total precipitation for the year was 1348.8 mm.

WATCH: Residents in Pontiac dealing with major flooding from Ottawa river

Click to play video: 'Residents in Pontiac dealing with major flooding from Ottawa river'
Residents in Pontiac dealing with major flooding from Ottawa river

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