2020 RIVER UPDATE
Wednesday May 6, 2020
There is no flood risk from the 2020 spring freshet; ORRPB has forecast that runoff due to snowmelt and the April 30th precipitation event has peaked in the northern and central portions of the basin. The level along Lac Deschene’s/Constance Bay peaked at 59.20m today and is expected to begin declining toward summer levels on Friday.
Other things aside, the 2020 freshet has been very routine; March started out warm with about 130% of average snow bringing us a routine first peak of 59.59m, 30th overall, that came a little earlier than usual on April 10. A dry and cool April stretched out the run-off season bringing today’s very average second peak of 59.20m, 53rd overall.
The recorded “April 4 Public Meeting” presentation that ORRPB made for West Carleton is now available on youtube. To make the material more digestible it has been split into one 21 minute video discussing the factors that can and can’t contribute to spring flooding here ( https://youtu.be/vbuZYSmfsfQ ) and a 49 minute presentation on the operation of the reservoirs & dams, including Cabonga and Chats Falls (https://youtu.be/Gf79FT-zhV8 ).
While there are many around the world who are suffering amidst this outbreak, we want to take a moment to acknowledge that here, in West Carleton this is now the fourth major incident affecting our communities in the past 3 years.
From all indications, this will likely affect quite a number of our community members over the course of the pandemic.
This outbreak is compounding the stress and anxiety that you and your neighbours are already feeling. Many of our residents continue to struggle with their repairs or rebuilds from the floods or the tornado and others are worried about the upcoming threat of high water.
Please remember that we are all in this together. We are now all experts at stepping up and helping each other, we will need these amazing community support skills in the coming weeks.
Volunteers from WCDR will continue to work on helping families who are struggling with past disasters while keeping our eye on the water levels. Please note that we are looking into alternative ways to host our April 4th meeting and we will keep you all informed as we move forward with our plans.
Visit the West Carleton Food Access Centre is you are in need of food and supplies during this period of social distancing.
April 2017, the snowpack was a little higher and the rain a little stronger but no one living along the river in West Carleton was prepared for what May would bring.
As the rain fell and the water kept rising and rising. We wouldn't know at the
time but this would be the highest water level ever to be recorded (to date, we all
know what happened only two short years later) on our beautiful Ottawa River.
But along with the water also came another wave. A wave of compassion and an outpouring of support also made its way to West Carleton.
This is the sorry of that support as it was seen by one of our lead volunteers in Constance Bay.
In the first days of May, the annual sand pile at the Constance Bay Community Centre was being frequented by more and more residents as the water crept up their yards. Families whose children were playing soccer and volunteers at the centre noticed these residents and started to help them fill their sandbags. As the pile quickly diminish and more residents showed up noticing the rising water levels, one of the CBBCA's regular volunteers Janet, called up councillor Eli to see when the next sand truck was coming and who was coordinating the efforts. That call started a cascade; more sand and sandbags started showing up. Every time a pile would start to get low Janet would call in for another load. Other calls started to be made as well, calls to the community for volunteers to come help fill sandbags, and boy did the members of Constance Bay show up.
(add photo from early may of sandbag filling)
Angie, who was visiting the centre, looked around and realized everyone must be hungry and went home to bring the stew she was cooking for her family dinner down to warm people up causing the start of yet another cascade this one of food.
As the community centre was under renovation the city of Ottawa and the Red Cross set up their operation and emergency shelter at our local Legion and the Legion volunteers fired up the oven. The legion became a respite for the disaster-weary residents and volunteers, a place to get out of the rain and enjoy a hot meal and the company of the community. The meal that were served were beyond counting and the love shared beyond measure.
For disaster evacuation plan/checklist
Special considerations for people with disabilities or others requiring assistance
Consider how you may be affected in a power outage, including:
Your evacuation route — without elevator service (if applicable)
Planning for a backup power supply for essential medical equipment
Keeping a flashlight and a cell phone handy to signal for help
Establishing a self-help network to assist and check on you during an emergency
Enrolling in a medical alert program that will signal for help if you are immobilized
Keeping a list of facilities that provide life-sustaining equipment or treatment
Keeping a list of medical conditions and treatment
If you live in an apartment, advise the property management that you may need assistance staying in your apartment or that you must be evacuated if there is a power outage. This will allow the property manager to plan and make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.
Residents struggle with their repairs and rebuilds.
Your continued support is very important. Due to Covid-19 many projects have seen many delays and funding shortages.
We are continuing to work with our most vulnerable families to support them. Your donations will help these families ensure that their rebuild and major repairs can be are completed 2022.
On September 21, 2018, a tornado left a 20 km trail of destruction across the former township of West Carleton, completely destroying many homes, farms and businesses in Dunrobin & Kinburn. From the efforts of volunteers, WCDR emerged to bring community association, volunteers & our local NGOs together to support the survivors and build a disaster-resilient community.
West Carleton is unique in so many ways, not least being the ability to effectively come together to respond to disaster. We have had more than our share of major disasters to responded to in recent years. Durning the Ottawa River flooding in 2017, board members of West Carleton Disaster Relief stepped up to lead the volunteer response and recovery. As residents of the 2017 flooding were still recovering from flooding, West Carleton again faced disaster, 2018 Tornado. WCDR was then formalized to bring together volunteers and community associations to support the recovery for
Let's keep up the good work!
Keeping Covid numbers low in West Carleton is all of our responsibility. Please visit these links for more information.
If you continue to need support visit