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Flood information

Current situation

May 18, 2019

  • Although water levels are anticipated to go down slightly over the long weekend, the City of Ottawa will not begin recovery operations until water levels have receded a significant amount. Until then, residents are urged to leave sandbag walls intact and keep flood and construction debris away from the road.
  • Removing sandbags and flood debris from your property prematurely can impede flood response operations which are ongoing.
  • Regular garbage collection services continue in accordance with the normal collection schedule in areas affected by flooding. If a road is closed, place garbage and recycling just outside the road closure area, on the side of the road not blocking the barricades, if it is safe to do so.
  • People are advised to stay away from flooded areas to not impede flood response operations.
  • People are advised to stay off the Ottawa River in and around the areas impacted by the recent floods.

For information on water levels, see the following websites:

Also visit:

Support and assistance for homeowners

All homeowners who need support and assistance with flood remediation work inside their home, or with the dismantling of sandbag walls, may now submit online requests for assistance.

  • Homeowners who will need help with sandbag removal or external debris once flood waters have receded significantly are asked to submit an online form.
  • Homeowners who will need help inside their homes are asked to submit a separate online form. It is recommended that you wait until you are able to assess the inside of your home before submitting these requests.

Each request will be assessed by a member of the NGO Alliance of Ontario or from Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue based on what work is required. Each request will be responded to based on need, rather than a first-come first-served basis.

Residents are asked to submit only one request for each service as multiple requests can cause additional backlogs and delay response time.

Canadian Red Cross

The Red Cross has announced financial assistance for households directly impacted by spring flooding. Affected residents, where this is their primary residence, may receive up to $600 to help meet their immediate needs. To receive this assistance, impacted households need to be registered with the Red Cross.

To register:

  • Call: 1-800-863-6582
  • Online at redcross.ca
  • In-person at designated community centres (Red Cross Services)
    • Ron Kolbus Community Centre
      • Saturday, May 18 from 10 am to 6 pm
      • Thursday, May 23 from 10 am to 6 pm
    • Constance and Buckham's Bay Community Centre
      • Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Full details of assistance available can be found at redcross.ca/gethelp.

Drinking water and hand sanitizer

The City has opened a drive-through commodity distribution point to provide drinking water and hand sanitizer to residents whose private wells are affected by flooding. Affected residents may pick up water at Fire Station 63 at 341 Bayview Drive, between noon and 7 pm.

Community support centres

Community support centre

Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Lane

  • Open daily from 10 am to 7 pm
  • While staff and services are not on site overnight, residents can access the building, including showers, toilets, electrical outlets and wifi, by contacting security at the main entrance.
  • Services available:
    • Bottles of water
    • Canadian Red Cross staff
    • St. John Ambulance staff
    • Emergency social services for emergency housing and personal support
    • Public health nurse
    • Public health inspector
    • Showers
    • Toilets
    • Food, provided by the Salvation Army
    • Electrical outlets for charging devices
    • Wifi

Volunteering and donations

Volunteers

Thank you to the more than15,000 volunteers who have helped with Ottawa’s flood response to-date.

The City does not require volunteers at this time. We will be asking for volunteers once the flood waters have receded and we move into recovery operations.

Announcements will be posted on ottawa.ca and the City’s social media channels.

What to know

Volunteers are asked not to bring their own equipment, except for the following:

  • Weather-appropriate clothing that may get dirty, wet or damaged
  • Work gloves if you have them, otherwise they can be provided
  • Close-toed footwear (ideally steel-toed boots)
  • Water and snacks
  • Sunscreen

Other information for volunteers:

  • When you arrive, please present yourself to the Volunteer Registration Centre.
  • First time volunteers will need to complete an Emergency Support Volunteer Registration and Liability Waiver.
  • You will need to wear an armband or other identification that will be provided.
  • Volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Volunteers under 18 must be supervised by an adult or legal guardian.
  • More information on what to expect when you volunteer.

Donations

Financial donations

The Canadian Red Cross is coordinating financial donations, which will support individuals, families and communities that are currently affected by flooding in Ontario. You can donate to the Ontario Floods Appeal:

Food donations

The Ottawa Food Bank is accepting food donations for those currently affected by flooding. Food drop-off locations can be found on the Ottawa Food Bank’s website.

Clothing, furniture and household donations

The Salvation Army is accepting donations of clothing, furniture and household items in anticipation of increased requests from residents affected by flooding. You can donate items in person at Salvation Army thrift stores.

Rebuilding or repairing flood damage in your home

You may have questions about how to proceed with rebuilding or repairing flood damage in your home. Get more information about Building Permits.

Road closures

The Chaudière Bridge has been closed by Public Services and Procurement Canada to all vehicles and pedestrians as of 6 am on Sunday, April 28. Commissionaires will be stationed at both ends of the closure to redirect all vehicles and pedestrians to the Portage Bridge. This closure is a result of forecasted high water levels and flows and will remain closed until the water recedes to a level where the bridge is safe for inspections and use. There are transit and transportation detours in place. 

Up to date information on road closures caused by flooding is available on our Interactive Traffic Map. Click the Incident box on the right-hand side to see the closures.

Evacuations

The City implemented a door-to-door voluntary evacuation plan for 600 to 956 Bayview Drive in Constance Bay.

Family reunification information line

The Canadian Red Cross has set up a family reunification information line for Ottawa residents impacted by the flood. Residents can register by phone at 1-855-797-8875.

Health and safety

Electrical safety

It is important for residents to remain aware of current and forecast water levels on the Ottawa River. Although the Ottawa River Regulatory Committee is reporting the river has reached its peak, water levels are expected to remain above seasonal levels and will pose a risk for some time. Water levels pose a particular risk when it comes to the energization of your home.

Residents should not consider reconnecting utilities until the risks associated with flooding are no longer a concern.

Returning home after a flood

If you have water contact or damage to your electrical system:

  1. If water in your basement has risen above the electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or electrical panel, DO NOT enter the basement until the power has been disconnected by the local electric utility.
  2. If your electrical system has been affected, your utility may not be able to restore power to your property until damage has been assessed and necessary repairs have been made.
  3. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to evaluate your home’s electrical system to determine if it is safe to have the local electric utility restore power to your home.
    1. The contractor will file for a permit with the ESA so there is a record of the work.
    2. When the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA and the ESA Inspector will confirm work has been done safely and power can be reconnected.
    3. ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect.
    4. The utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.
    5. Ask the contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your records and insurance.

If you are using a portable standby generator

  • Clearly understand your electricity requirements to ensure the unit is the correct size and voltage for your application.
  • Purchase the appropriate generator accessories, including:
    • an approved transfer device or switch
    • a properly sized connector cord and plugs
  • Never use a generator indoors; use it in a dry area outdoors and away from open doors, windows and vents.
  • Check the generator and all component parts to ensure that they have been approved by a recognized certification agency.
  • Never connect portable generators to electrical appliances or wiring components that have been affected by flood water.
  • If you have to use extension cords, make sure they are the grounded type with three prongs and rated for how you’re planning to use them. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them flat.
  • Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline.
  • Standby generators that are permanently installed into your electrical wiring must have a transfer device to protect your home and the utility system by preventing generator power from flowing back into the utility system.
  • Do not backfeed your permanent electrial system with a portable generator without a proper transfer switch.

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and Hydro One are the technical organizations responsible for providing electricity to your homes and work independent of the City of Ottawa. The City has reached out to each of these organizations to obtain the answers to some of your questions.

When will my hydro be reconnected?

Before the Electrical Safety Authority and Hydro One can reconnect hydro, staff must ensure local roads are stable enough to support a hydro truck.

The condition of neighbouring properties can affect yours. This means that your house may be clear, but nearby homes are not clear. If others have water in their homes, it could create a safety hazard for residents or crews responding to the flood.

The Electrical Safety Authority and Hydro One will not be able to reconnect power until it is safe to do so.

If my electricity/hydro has been shut off due to flooding, who do I contact about getting it turned on again and reenergized?

Please visit the Electrical Safety Authority’s website or contact them at 1-877-ESA-SAFE for further information. The Electrical Safety Authority has information on what to do on returning home after a flood, which includes hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor. The City recommends that you keep receipts for any fees you may be charged.

There are individuals coming to my home claiming to be contractors and electricians to evaluate my electrical system – how do I know if they are legitimate or not?

There have been reports of companies coming door-to-door to offer services to residents. It is recommended that you visit the Electrical Safety Authority’s website or contact them at 1-877-ESA-SAFE for further information prior to obtaining unsolicited services.

What should I do before the power is restored?

Appliances that were left plugged in must be unplugged. This includes lights, appliances, and electronic equipment. (Note: stoves do not need to be unplugged).

If appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse/breaker panels have been flooded, do not energize or return to service until they have been inspected by a licensed electrical contractor. For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority's website or contact them at 1-877-ESA-SAFE.

If Enbridge has shut off gas due to flooding, who do I contact about getting it turned on again?

  1. Contact Enbridge at 1-877-362-7434
  2. Enbridge will come and do a property assessment and determine if it is safe to reconnect the gas supply
  3. Once inspection has passed, the homeowner must contact an approved HVAC contractor
  4. The HVAC contractor will connect all gas-fueled appliances (furnace, hot water tank, dryer, stove, etc)

Other important information for residents

I am hearing that the water level has peaked – can I remove sandbags?

No, you should not remove sandbags around your home as water levels continue to remain high. Check ottawa.ca, the City of Ottawa’s social media pages or call 3-1-1 for the most up-to-date information.

Who can I contact about issues relating to mental health?

Ottawa Public Health can provide assistance relating to any mental health issues and also has information on the flooding event. Visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca or call 613-580-6744.

Where can I go for more information or for assistance?

The West Carleton-March Community Support Centre at 262 Len Purcell Lane is a one-stop shop for information. Representatives from the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health, the Canadian Red Cross, Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, St. John’s Ambulance and the Electrical Safety Authority are onsite to answer questions and provide help. The Canadian Red Cross is also providing information on how affected residents can apply for financial assistance.

Utility contacts

Public health

There are several ways floodwater can enter your home and pose health or safety risks. Visit Ottawa Public Health for information about staying safe during and after a flood.

Being prepared and having a plan will help residents deal with the stress and disruption that go along with flooding events.

Stay away from flooded areas

People are advised to stay away from flooded areas as to not impede the flood response operations. All unnecessary foot and road traffic in impacted areas should be avoided. Residents who are not volunteering and do not have property in the area should stay away.

Residents should avoid slopes and hills close to bodies of water and exercise extreme caution at all times.

The City of Ottawa is asking residents to stay off the Ottawa river in and around the areas impacted by the recent floods. Boating close to shore may cause wakes which contribute to additional damage to homes, flood barriers and so forth.

Tips to prevent sewer backups and flooding

Learn how to prevent sewer backups and basement flooding.

City parks

The City asks residents to ensure that children and pets are kept away from City wading pools and play structures in parks located near a river.

Parks at risk for water pooling and flooding include:

  • Andrew Haydon Park, 3127 Carling Avenue
  • Barnett Park, 2045 Regional Road 174
  • Blair Road Boat Launch, Massey Lane/Ottawa River Pathway
  • Brantwood Park, 39 Onslow Crescent (wading pool)
  • Britannia Park, 2805 Carling Avenue (wading pool)
  • Brewer Park, 100 Brewer Way
  • Dutchie’s Hole Park, 154 Mann Avenue (wading pool)
  • New Edinburgh Park, 203 Stanley Avenue
  • Osborne Park, 21 Osborne Street
  • Petrie Island, 795 Trim Road
  • Riverain Park, 400 N River Road
  • Strathcona Park, 25 Range Road (wading pool)
  • Windsor Park, 1 Windsor Avenue (wading pool)

Garbage collection

Regular garbage collection services continue in accordance with the normal collection schedule in areas affected by flooding.

Residents on roads closed due to flooding -– Bayview Drive, Armitage Avenue, Wilola Beach Drive and Moorhead Drive – should leave their regular household waste, recycling and green bin piled on top of the sandbags or the closest dry area at the end of their property by 9 am on Monday morning. A vehicle will be by to pick them up.

Materials should not be placed before 6 pm on the day before collection as per the regular waste collection schedule.

Residents requiring assistance moving their garbage to the curb can go to the Community Support Centre.

The City has developed a plan to remove waste materials once the flood waters begin to recede. As part of the plan, daily garbage collection will be provided in areas affected by flooding. In addition, special collections for household hazardous waste, appliances and electronic waste will be provided on a scheduled basis. The City will provide further details once the flood waters begin to recede.

Details on flood debris and sandbag collection will also be provided as the flood waters recede and there is no further threat of flooding.