Ville de Gatineau
Runoff: water levels are dropping, but Gatineau is ready to intervene if necessary
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Ville de Gatineau
News release
Runoff: water levels are dropping, but Gatineau is ready to intervene if necessary

Gatineau, March 28, 2018. – At this point, there is no reason to believe that there will be any flooding in Gatineau. Water levels are continuing to fall, and lockmasters are finalizing the discharge of basins and reservoirs. Very little precipitation is forecast for the next few days, as a result of which a normal spring thaw and stable water levels are expected.

Nonetheless, as always, Gatineau is prepared for the possibility of flooding. Municipal crews have been getting ready for several weeks, and are ready to intervene if necessary.


Quick facts

Spring runoff is a recurrent phenomenon. Every year, the region goes through two runoffs, generally one after the other, with little flooding.
Last year, the runoffs happened at the same time, which led to flooding in the region. The 2017 flood reached the 100-year flood level, making it the exception.
Every year, municipal crews prepare for the spring runoff by anticipating the worst. This year, we drew from our experience in 2017 to further improve our preparations.
In addition, yesterday, MUSE consultants tabled their report on municipal interventions during the 2017 spring floods.
The report indicates that the Gatineau municipal organization has effective emergency preparedness. Its response in terms of prevention, preparation, intervention and recovery is already adequate.
The consultant's report includes 17 recommendations. These include nine measures that have already been or are in the process of being introduced. Gatineau is currently reviewing the other recommendations and will follow up on them.

Main measures among the MUSE recommendations that have already been or are in the process of being introduced

Emergency measures training for all players in that area took place in the fall of 2017 and winter of 2018. More than 100 people took part.
Yesterday, municipal councillors took part in a training session on the role of elected officials in regard to emergency measures.
There will be three information meetings with shoreline residents in the different sectors. Residents will receive a letter inviting them to those meetings.
- Monday, April 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. at école polyvalente Le Carrefour, 50 chemin de la Savane in the Gatineau sector;
- Tuesday, April 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Centre-Ernest-Lattion, 30 rue Court in the Aylmer sector; and
- Wednesday, April 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Masson-Angers service centre, 57 chemin de Montréal Est in the Masson-Angers sector.
A brochure outlining what to do before, during and after a flood will soon be sent to shoreline residents.
- The brochure will also be available in the municipal service centres and public library points of service.
Municipal departments have been working on a volunteer management plan to better direct initiatives by residents and businesses.

Other measures taken by Gatineau in preparation for spring flooding

Water levels and weather forecasts are being closely monitored with Quebec's ministère de la Sécurité publique.
Gatineau has set up two new hydrometric stations in the Gatineau and Masson-Angers sectors.
- Gatineau already had access to Environment Canada's stations in the Hull and Aylmer sectors. With these new ones, Gatineau can now get accurate readings in every sector.
Gatineau has 180,000 sandbags in stock, and is ready to acquire more if necessary.
- Filling will begin shortly. However, given the limited life expectancy of a bag filled with sand, the pace of filling will increase if water levels rise.
A call for tenders is currently in place for a second bagging machine to increase our capacity to fill bags if needed.
All equipment, vehicles and boats have been checked and are ready if needed.
In addition, all measures are in place to protect municipal facilities such as plants.
Gatineau is ready to raise the levels of certain roads with rock fill if necessary.
The availability of service centres and shelters for evacuees has been confirmed, and Gatineau is ready to intervene.
The non-emergency call centre (311) is ready to take calls from residents and evacuees as required. Two additional agents have been hired for improved response.
Gatineau is collaborating with several partners to act in case of flooding:
- Quebec's Ministère de la Sécurité publique
- Quebec's Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Occupation du territoire
- Quebec's Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et l'Électrification des transports
- Canadian Red Cross
- Société de transport de l'Outaouais
- Hydro-Québec
- Gazifère
- Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de Gatineau
- Provincial and federal members of parliament
- Community organizations (e.g. to collect donations)
It should be remembered that Gatineau received $2.8 million to pilot an updated standardized flood hazard map for the region. This is one of the government measures included in its flood emergency plan.

What about you? Are you ready?

Residents also have an important role to play in ensuring their own safety. By taking steps to prepare, everyone can help mitigate the consequences of floods.
Gatineau encourages residents to prepare for flooding.
Prepare for the spring runoff and find out what to do in case of flooding by consulting gatineau.ca/flood. There, you will find:
changes in water levels;
- real time updates from Gatineau on the issue;
- useful tips, namely in regard to preparing your emergency kit;
- a video on how to use sandbags to protect your home; and
- how to sign up for messages and emails to receive alerts.


Quote

“Gatineau is ready to intervene in the event of flooding. Last year's experience led us to conclusions and improvements in our preparations. In fact, many of the consultant's recommendations were implemented even before the report was received. We are continuing to improve the process by offering residents new tools with which to enhance their disaster preparedness,” indicated Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin.


Associated links

Spring flood

March 27, 2018 news release (in French only): Gatineau reçoit le rapport sur les interventions municipales lors des inondations survenues au printemps 2017

Report by MUSE consultants on municipal interventions during the spring 2017 flooding (in French only)


Video

Using sandbags to build a dike (in French only)

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Published by
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau
Source
Jean Boileau, ARP, FSCRP
Director,
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau
819-595-7171
boileau.jean@gatineau.ca
@JeanBoileau

À propos de Gatineau

Reconnue pour sa qualité de vie, Gatineau est une ville de 285 000 habitants. Elle est située sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, et s'étend à l'est et à l'ouest de la rivière Gatineau.

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