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Spring flooding 2021

Current situation

Updated Wednesday, April 7

Water levels and flows continue to slowly recede in most areas along the Ottawa River. The general trend, for the full length of the river, is for a steady decrease in flows and levels as the remaining spring runoff in the central part of the basin recedes.City crews will continue to monitor areas for response as required.

If your property is at risk call 3-1-1. If it is an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.

For information on water levels and flood plains, see the following websites:

Questions you should ask yourself at the start of flooding season


The City of Ottawa provides sand and sandbags to residents who live in areas prone to Spring flooding at various locations across the City and have recently removed shovels from these sandbag filling sites as these are considered high touch points.

If you plan to collect sand and sandbags from these locations, we ask that you please bring your own shovels, gloves, and other tools you may require. Residents are asked to bring their own shovels.

Please remember to practice physical distancing and stay at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from other residents while on site. Make an effort to step-aside or pass others quickly and courteously.

If you are sick or not feeling well please stay home and access the COVID-19 self-assessment tool at

It is encouraged that people dwelling in the same household or people in their immediate families work together in small teams to respect the current social and physical distancing measures set out by the Government of Ontario. If you become unwell while at the site, please return home and complete a self-screening.

The current locations for sand and sandbag filling sites are:

  • 29 Hurdman Road 
  • 911 Industrial Avenue
  • 2264 Colonial Road (Navan)
  • 2145 Roger Stevens Drive
  • 4244 Rideau Valley Drive
  • 2941 March Road
  • 4127 John Shaw (Kinburn)
  • 2481 Scrivens Drive

Road, park and pathway closures

Up to date information on road closures caused by flooding is available on our Interactive Traffic Map

Here is the current list of road closures as a result of flooding and culvert failures :

  • Bearhill Road from Vaughan Side Road to 2060 Bearhill Road
  • Bearhill Road from Country Meadow to 2060 Bearhill Road (local traffic only)

Pedestrian and cyclist pathways closures:

  • Pathway – North Side of the Bank Street Bridge at the Rideau River / Linda Thom Park 

National Capital Commission affected pathways (includes a map)

Tips to prevent basement flooding

Residents can help prevent basement flooding with a few simple changes around the home:

  • Seal window wells and cracks in floors, walls and the foundation.
  • Slope ground away from the foundation to allow rainwater to flow away from the home.
  • Direct downspouts from eaves troughs away from the foundation (minimum of 1.2 metres) or to a rain barrel.
  • Disconnect downspouts from the sewer system or foundation drains.
  • Ensure foundation drains direct water to the storm sewer or sump pump. Foundation drains should not be connected to the sanitary sewer.
  • Ensure the sump pump is connected to the storm sewer or discharges to the ground at least 1.2 metres from the foundation.
  • Install protective plumbing devices, such as backwater valves which protect against surcharging in City sewers. The City’s Residential Protective Plumbing Program offer rebates to qualified homeowners.
  • Maintain existing protective plumbing devices according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A protective plumbing device should be maintained periodically or before a forecasted heavy rainfall to ensure it is free of debris, functioning properly and that cleanout caps and access covers are firmly secured.
    • In older homes, especially those with cast iron pipes, additional maintenance may be required, as rust can accumulate at the hinge and prevent proper closure of the backwater valve during a surcharge event.
    • For more tips on backwater valve maintenance, refer to a video on Backwater Valve Maintenance from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

For more tips on preventing basement flooding, refer to the Handbook for Reducing Basement Flooding from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.