ORRPB says expect minor flooding in WC’s prone areas today

OTTAWA RIVER — The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (ORRPB) says expected weather forecasts may contribute to minor flood levels being exceeded starting today (April 13).

“The Ottawa River Regulating committee cautions levels and flows on the Ottawa River continue to rise gradually due to on-going snowmelt in the central and northern portions of the basin,” the ORRPB released in a statement today (April 13). “Minor flood levels may be exceeded starting this Monday in flood prone areas along the river between Fort-Coulonge and the Montreal region, depending on temperatures and precipitation received over the next few days.”

The minor flood level is defined as the level at which parts of some streets, lawns and parks are beginning to flood, with no or few houses/buildings affected by water levels. Water levels are currently expected to remain below major flood thresholds in all locations.

“The spring thaw started early this year and there is no snow left on the southeast basin portion,” the ORRB said. “April 1 snow measurements indicate the remaining snow cover still contains a significant amount of water and has generally higher than average water content for this time of the year. With warmer temperatures over the last few days, part of the snow remaining on the central and northern portions of the basin has now melted and is currently flowing in the river system, thereby causing the levels and flows along the river to increase over the last week.”

A spring storm is expected today (April 13) to bring above average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall on a large part of the watershed.

“The Ottawa River Regulating committee cautions residents that live in areas prone to flooding from Fort-Coulonge down to the Montreal region that starting Monday, levels may rise rapidly at times and may exceed minor flood levels, depending on the temperatures and precipitation amounts received,” the ORRPB said. “For the flood prone areas from Fort-Coulonge to the Lake Deschenes area, levels are expected to be similar to or below the peak levels reached in 2018. For the flood prone areas between Gatineau (Hull) and the Montreal region, levels are expected to be similar to or slightly above the maximum levels reached in 2018.”