Ville de Gatineau
Spring freshet – Gatineau is keeping a close eye on water levels
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Ville de Gatineau
News release
Spring freshet – Gatineau is keeping a close eye on water levels

Gatineau, March 19, 2022. – As it does every year, Gatineau is keeping a close eye on the spring freshet. For now, water levels are stable and below normal.

At a glance


Winter conditions and the gradual snow melt are keeping the risk of flooding low.
It should be noted that new precipitation could build up and cause a change in the outlook. In fact, Gatineau will be monitoring the situation very closely this weekend due to the forecast rain.
Dam managers are overseeing the basins and reservoirs. They confirm that there are no issues at this time.

Municipal preparations for the spring freshet

Water levels and weather forecasts are being closely monitored in collaboration with Quebec's ministère de la Sécurité publique.
Gatineau is equipped to take accurate water level readings in every sector.
Gatineau has 27,500 filled sandbags and 200,000 empty sandbags in stock. It is ready to acquire new ones as needed.
Gatineau has two sandbagging machines, with an estimated capacity of approximately 10,000 bags per day under favourable conditions.
Gatineau is working with several partners to coordinate measures in the event of flooding:
- The regional and provincial offices of Quebec's ministère de la Sécurité publique
- Quebec's ministère des Transports
- Canadian Red Cross
- Société de transport de l'Outaouais
- Hydro-Québec
- Gazifère
- Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais
- Coopérative des paramédics de l'Outaouais
- Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais (SBO-OVSAR)
- Moisson Outaouais and various community organizations (to collect donations for instance)
Gatineau has seven hydrometric stations and access to two of Environment Canada's. Water levels are posted at and on the ministère de la Sécurité publique website.

Spring freshet and the pandemic

All pandemic public health measures remain applicable to ensure compliance with the instructions issued by Santé publique and the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). Gatineau updates its practices in accordance with every new measure introduced and whenever measures are discontinued.

Preparing for the spring freshet

Residents have an important role to play in ensuring their own safety. They are first in line when it comes to providing for their own safety and that of their families, and to protecting their property.
Residents must ensure that the water running down from their eavestroughs lands far enough from their home and flows away from it.
Residents must check the condition of their pumps and floor drains.
Valuables and important documents should not be stored in the basement.
Residents should always have an emergency kit containing essentials for each family member. As indicated on the Government of Canada website at, this kit should contain enough provisions for 72 hours.
Shoreline property owners are urged to follow the hygiene and physical distancing rules in all of their interactions related to the spring freshet and flooding.
Residents are invited to check for additional tips on getting prepared and for the latest updates. In addition, anyone who has not already done so can sign up for text message or email alerts about important developments.

Spring freshet

Spring freshets are recurring phenomena that generally cause little overflow.
Several factors influence the spring freshet:
- River water levels
- The amount of snow on the ground
- Dam management
- Temperatures
- Rain precipitation (this being the main factor)
Gatineau's past experience has enabled it to firm up its measures and planning to enhance its effectiveness. It is constantly working to improve its state of preparedness.


“With spring just around the corner, and since the 2017 flooding, Gatineau has been on alert, and our crews are well equipped. At this point, even though the snow is melting, the spring freshet has not yet officially started. The latest data indicate no cause for concern with water levels. Municipal services are at the ready, and mechanisms are in place to anticipate and quickly respond, if necessary,” indicated Gatineau Mayor France Bélisle.

Associated links

Spring flood


Emergency kits

Stay tuned

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Published by
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau
Jean Boileau, ARP, FSCRP
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau

À propos de Gatineau

Reconnue pour sa qualité de vie, Gatineau est une ville de 291 000 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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