As the Spring season is upon us the City of Ottawa has officially stood up a dedicated Emergency Operations Center for the 2020 Spring Freshet. Understanding the importance of supporting our residents during this time, this team will be focused on planning and response to the 2020 Spring Freshet.
Flood preparation and response plans for the Spring Freshet are currently underway with the Emergency Operation teams. Staff are in the process of reviewing all flood related educational materials that are available to the residents. Some of the updated materials and plans that are being developed will reflect how residents can work to protect personal property while respecting physical distancing during these trying times.
The Spring Freshet Taskforce was brought together at the beginning of March to start the review and monitoring of the river conditions both on the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers. The Spring Freshet Taskforce membership is made up of key internal departments including:
- Public Works and Environmental Services,
- Infrastructure and Economic Development,
- Ottawa Public Health,
- Ottawa Fire Services,
- Office of Emergency Management and
- Public Information and Media Relations.
It also includes external partners:
- Conservation Authorities
- Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (covers Crystal Bay)
- Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (covers Belltown and Britannia Village areas)
- South Nation Conservation Authority
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board
The Spring Freshet Taskforce continues to be active throughout the COVID-19 situation with updates being received regularly from our members.
The Emergency Operations team planning is underway, and staff continue to review best practices from previous flood events. These plans will be adjusted and best implemented, where possible, in keeping with the current conditions and Public Health recommendations for response during COVID-19.
Legacy of 2019
The City currently has over 200 000 filled sandbags ready for use this year. This is with great thanks to the thousands of volunteers who came out to help during the 2019 Flood event. As a result of 2019 sandbag filling efforts, the City is in a good position to be able to deploy filled sandbags for residents along the low-lying areas of the Ottawa River in 2020.
In addition to the filled sandbags, the City has 387 000 unfilled sandbags in inventory as well as over 21 000 tons of reclaimed sand from last year’s event ready to be deployed if required. As in past years, the City continues to make available sand and empty sandbags to residents at the main gate of the following City garages effective immediately.
- 29 Hurdman Road
- 1683 Woodward Drive
- 911 Industrial Avenue
- 2145 Roger Stevens Drive
- 4244 Rideau Valley Drive
- 1159 Moodie Road at Dibblee Road – across from 101 Dibblee Road
- 2941 March Road
- 4127 John Shaw
- 1655 Maple Grove Road
At these locations, it is the resident’s responsibility to fill and transport their own sandbags. We ask that residents please respect physical distancing if others are on site, in alignment with Ottawa Public Health recommendations.
For more information and helpful tips during the Spring Freshet please visit Ottawa.ca