Flooding May 2017

City Information and Facilitation Centers Open

posted May 10, 2017, 7:15 AM by bna association   [ updated May 10, 2017, 7:16 AM ]

Today through Friday 10am-8pm, the city will have an information and facilitation centers in four locations to assist impacted residents. The closest to us will be in the Ron Kolbus Centre parking lot. City staff will be present at each center to triage, answer City resource questions, follow up on resident inquiries, or assign to the proper department. Red Cross and the Salvation Army will also be in attendance.
The schedule after Friday will be provided in the coming days.

Minor Correction: today (Wednesday), the centers open at noon.

Tues May 9 Evening Update

posted May 9, 2017, 7:27 PM by bna association

Things are in good shape, but if the winds pick up we will ask for some volunteers for scheduled erosion monitoring on the berm.  Anyone walking the berm can look for areas where the soil is caved away under the ground or bike path where there are no large rocks (called rip rap or armor rock) breaking the impact of the waves.  If such a spot is found, take a picture and email it to association@belltown.ca so someone can have a look.  There are a variety of factors which determine whether or not more sandbags can/should be placed in such areas, but as the erosion changes, the possibility of placing more bags changes too.  If you see sandbags waiting on the side of the path, please do not move them or attempt to place them.

Russell attended the 1pm information session at Nepean Sportsplex.  The information provided was focused on a financial relief program called Provincial Disaster Recovery Assistance (www.ontario.ca/disasterassistance).  At this time, the City of Ottawa has asked the Minister to activate this program, and is awaiting a response.  The details of this program are complex, so please check their website.  Most importantly, if your home or property was affected, document it as much as possible (before/after photos and video) to assist your claim if the program is activated.  If your home or property was affected and you have costs from the emergency, keep your receipts for reimbursement. 

The Red Cross is asking anyone who experienced loss or damage from the flooding to register with them.  The City believes 310 homes have been affected.  Registration will also allow the City to get a more accurate damage assessment.  Currently, registration is only possible in person, but check www.redcross.ca in the next 2-3 days for online registration.  Residents are encouraged to register even if the damage was only a wet basement or sewer backup (both of which we understand occurred for some residents in Belltown).

Mayor Watson announced a CRA program to defer payment deadlines for 2016 taxes until Dec 7 (a 5.5 month extension) for residents affected by the flood and has indicated that cleanup of debris collecting in flood affected areas has begun but will take about 4 weeks.  Volunteers can sign up to assist clean up efforts here.

Tues May 9 Morning Update

posted May 9, 2017, 7:09 AM by bna association

We have consolidated the emergency Google Group into the general Belltown Neighbourhood Association Google Group and are shutting down the emergency list at this time.  

Kind regards,

 - Russell Latham

Mon May 8 Evening Update 9pm

posted May 8, 2017, 6:46 PM by bna association

Today was spent finishing bagging sand at the Dome, observing the rate of erosion at the berm and providing a few spot fixes for reducing erosion. We have pairs of volunteers who will walk the berm every few hours over the next few days looking for any signs that the ground has been eroded caving under the bike path without signs of large stones. If those features or other concerning erosion are identified we can consider adding more sandbags to the berm. Depending on the waves and wind, we expect this will not be necessary. If there is something more concerning, please also call 311. If there's something that looks like an emergency, please call 911. If you do walk the berm, at any time over the next few days, feel free to report what you've seen here or directly to association@belltown.ca. Unless conditions change, no further sand or bags will be needed at the Dome. Currently, we have used all our bags and there's a bit of sand remaining. We estimate we have about 2000 filled bags at the ready if needed. Great work everyone, it appears the water levels are receding and we will hope for cold weather up north, dry skies, and low winds across Lac Deschenes. Clean up remains a conversation for a drier time ...

Mon May 8 Conditions Update

posted May 8, 2017, 9:25 AM by bna association

We have shifted from erosion control /(placing bags) to monitoring the erosion of the berm.  We are looking for volunteers already familiar with the conditions along the bike path/berm to sign up for a shift to walk the berm/bike path to look for any new issues.  Please email association@belltown.ca if you would like to do this.  

We are advising everyone to keep back from the water and if they see something that looks like a problem, take pictures, email association@belltown.ca and call 311.  If the situation is an emergency, please call 911.  We'll let everyone know if efforts shift back to moving sand bags and building walls.

We've also slowed efforts filling sand bags for the time.  We're in a wait and see mode, which is great news.

Sunday May 7 flood conditions update (12 noon) - please share widely

posted May 7, 2017, 9:52 AM by bna association   [ updated May 10, 2017, 6:22 AM ]

Hi folks:

We have good news and not-so-good news for our Belltown community. The good news is that, at the moment, the rise is water levels for the Ottawa River appears to be moderating - from a reading of 60.51 metres (above sea level) at 8 a.m. this morning, to a forecast peak of 60.55 - a small rise of about 2 inches. We appear to have sufficient height left on the bike path/berm to handle this (plus the outlet at Birchdale/Maplehurst has been plugged). We don't know, however, what the forecast is for Monday or Tuesday yet, with more water arriving from upstream.

The not-so-good news is that the wave & wind action on the bike path/berm is beginning to have an effect through erosion. We are monitoring this closely but we feel it would be wise for residents on the 1-in-100 year floodplain (go to www.belltown.ca to see the map) to take precautions by sandbagging basement window wells and basement entrances. The sand bags may be obtained at the Belltown Dome. We say this because, although no breach is imminent, if one occurs there will not be time to protect your home from the flood waters.

We are being reasonably optimistic but cautious - it would be prudent to take these steps now.

And for those not on the floodplain but are helping out bagging sand - our sincere thanks!

Alex Cullen
President, BNA 

City of Ottawa Emergency Preparedness Notifications

posted May 5, 2017, 8:52 PM by bna association

Although the city has not declared an emergency, it has updated its emergency preparedness notifications to address the risk of flooding.  This notice will have up to date road closures and locations of sand bag stations. Of note are the steps to take before and after you find water in your basement.  It is especially important to pay attention to the risk of electrical shock.


Rideau Valley Conservation Authority - Watershed Conditions

posted May 5, 2017, 8:46 PM by bna association

For updates on watershed conditions from the RVCA, go to www.rvca.ca.  They have daily updates on flood forecasting, water level and streamflow rates that you can receive by email.

This page http://his.rvca.ca/rvcafwl/ISG/StandardGraph_Ottawa_at_Britannia_Level.html graphs the daily average water level (today at 60.11m) against the 100-year level (60.8m).  That's certainly more comforting than the historical data from OttawaRiver.ca!

Track water levels yourself with OttawaRiver.ca

posted May 5, 2017, 8:35 PM by bna association

You can track the water levels and predictions for our neighbourhood yourself at www.ottawariver.ca/river-levels-flows.php  Our neighbourhood water levels will closely track with Lake Deschenes at Britannia (Ottawa) which was reporting a height of 60.12m above sea level at 4 pm May 5, 2017.  The predicted peak is 60.40m on Sunday, May 7 (i.e. 28 vertical centimeters higher than what we see right now).  

The next update to these predictions will be 2 pm Saturday.

Historical records for water levels at Britannia are here: www.ottawariver.ca/ottawa-river-britannia.php.  I'm not quite sure how to square that information with the information that 60.40m is not a 1 in 100 year level...

Where is the flood plain?

posted May 5, 2017, 8:17 PM by bna association

You can see the floodplain in the City's online interactive map http://maps.ottawa.ca/geoottawa/ by clicking More Layers... (top right) and checking the box beside Zoning.  This will show the Flood Plain overlay as a blue hashed area.  That is the 100-year flood plain line meaning (roughly) the area that surface water would reach if we had flooding to the same extent as the worst flooding that has happened in the past 100 years.  The current forecasts are predicting levels closer to the 1-in-25 year mark, but the consequences of being under-prepared are really high...

Sorry Chrome users, it appears, geoOttawa's applet doesn't work in Google's Chrome browser. In case you can't access it, I've attached an image of our neighbourhood I made back in April 2017 from geoOttawa.

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