Massive floods hit Ottawa - breaking all-time high water records, Canada

Massive floods hit Ottawa - breaking all-time high water records, Canada

Ottawa is fighting massive spring floods that hit areas along the Ottawa River on Friday, April 26, 2019. A state of emergency has been declared in at least 14 communities in the region.

The still-rising Ottawa-Gatineau region's 2019 spring floods are officially the worst on record in some areas along the Ottawa River, with more records poised to fall as the river keeps rising over the next three days.

According to Ottawa River Regulating Committee, the river is already at record-breaking levels in Lac Coulonge, east of Pembroke, Ontario, as well as in Arnprior, Ontario, and Ottawa. Records in Lac Coulonge date back to 1985, and to 1950 for the other two cities, CBC reports.

The current level at Lac Coulonge is 108.93 m (357.4 feet) above sea level, 41 cm (16.1 inches) above the previous record set in 2017.

The water level in Arnprior is 76.09 m (249.6 feet) above sea level, 14 cm (5.51 inches) above the record set in 2017.

Records were also broken at Britannia in Ottawa on Sunday when the water level rose to 2 cm (0.78 inches) above the peak in 2017.

The water is expected to rise:

Another 47 cm (18.5 inches) in Lac Coulonge.
Another 26 cm (10.2 inches) in Arnprior.
Another 39 cm (15.3 inches) in Britannia.
Another 50 cm (19.6 inches) in Hull.
Another 21 cm (8.2 inches) in Thurso.
Another 16 cm (6.2 inches) in Hawkesbury.

 
 

The City of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency as river levels continue to rise, threatening to surpass those reached when flooding devastated some neighborhoods two years ago.

"We are now beyond our city's capacity, and that is why we have called in the Armed Forces and has been told 400 troops will be deployed to affected areas," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said.

States of emergency have been declared in the following municipalities:

    City of Ottawa
    Town of Huntsville
    Town of Bracebridge
    Township of Minden Hills
    Township of Whitewater Region
    Township of Horton
    Township of McNab/Braeside
    City of Clarence-Rockland
    Township of Alfred-Plantagenet
    Township of Laurentian Valley
    County of Renfrew
    Township of Greater Madawaska

The Hull marina in Gatineau, Quebec is expected to break a record in the coming days.

The forecast, a subject to a high degree of uncertainty, says water levels will continue to rise another 40 to 50 cm (15.7 - 19.6 inches) in parts of the city and should peak in Ottawa-Gatineau Tuesday or Wednesday, April 30 / May 1, according to information provided by officials and reported by the CBC.

Featured image: Ottawa River at the Chaudiere Falls. Credit: Mathieu Fleury

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