Ville de Gatineau
Runoff: no flooding is expected, but Gatineau is ready to intervene if need be
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Ce communiqué a été publié le 28 mars 2019. L'information dans ce communiqué pourrait ne plus être à jour et certains liens pourraient ne plus être fonctionnels.

Ville de Gatineau
News release
Runoff: no flooding is expected, but Gatineau is ready to intervene if need be

Gatineau, March 28, 2019. – At this point, no flooding is expected in Gatineau this spring. Water levels are stable and within average. The slow thaw is helping to reduce the risk of flooding. In fact, very little precipitation is forecast for the next few days, which means a normal thaw and stable water levels. Lockmasters are overseeing the basins and reservoirs.

Nonetheless, as always, Gatineau is preparing for the runoff. Municipal crews have been preparing for weeks, and are ready to intervene if necessary.

Spring runoff

The spring runoff is a recurrent phenomenon that generally does not cause much flooding.
In 2017, the flooding reached the 100-year level, which, by definition, has a one in 100 chance of happening in any given year.
Several factors come into play when it comes to the spring runoff:
- water levels in the rivers;
- the amount of snow on the ground;
- lock management;
- the temperature; and
- rainfall (the main factor).
Every year, municipal crews prepare for the spring runoff by anticipating the worst. The 2017 experience enabled us to fine tune our preparations.

MUSE report on municipal interventions

In 2018, MUSE consultants tabled their report on municipal interventions in response to the 2017 spring floods.
Their report confirmed the effectiveness of Gatineau's civil security measures, finding them to be already adequate in terms of prevention, preparation, intervention and recovery.
The report contains 17 recommendations. These include 13 measures that have already been or are on the way to being implemented. Gatineau is currently reviewing and will follow up on the other recommendations.

Gatineau's preparations for the spring runoff

Water levels and weather forecasts are being closely monitored with Quebec's ministère de la Sécurité publique.
Gatineau can get accurate water level readings in every sector.
A brochure setting out the steps to take before, during and after a flood was sent to shoreline property owners in March. In addition:
- that brochure is available (French and English) in the municipal service centres and libraries; and
- the contents of the brochure are posted on the municipal Web site.
Gatineau has 26,000 bags filled with sand, and 200,000 empty sandbags in stock, and is ready to get more if needed.
Gatineau now has two bagging machines, which means a greater capacity to fill bags.
All equipment, vehicles and boats have been checked and are ready if needed.
The availability of victim assistance centres and shelters has been confirmed, and Gatineau is ready to intervene.
Municipal officials have been working on a volunteer management plan to better organize residents and organizations wishing to help out.
Gatineau is working with several partners to coordinate measures in the event 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 de l'Électrification des transports;
- the Canadian Red Cross;
- the Société de transport de l'Outaouais;
- Hydro-Québec;
- Gazifère;
- the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais;
- provincial and federal members of parliament; and
- Moisson Outaouais and different community organizations (for instance for collecting donations).
In 2018, Gatineau received $2.8 M to prepare a new map of the region's flood risk areas. The exercise involved reviewing the regulatory framework for managing flood risk areas.
- This is part of the Quebec government's Plan d'action en matière de sécurité civile relatif aux inondations.
- A further $500,000 has just been approved (March 19, 2019) to add 112 km of river sections to the study.

What about you? Are you ready?

Residents also have an important role to play in ensuring their own safety. By taking steps ahead of time, everyone can help mitigate the consequences of floods.
Take the first steps in ensuring your own safety, as well as that of your family and your property.
Keep an emergency kit on hand at all times with the essentials for every member of your family. According to information on the Government of Canada Web site at, your kit should meet your needs for at least 72 hours.
Keep an emergency food supply so that your family has what it needs for several days.
Prepare for the spring runoff and find out what to do in case of flooding by consulting 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 text messages and emails to receive alerts.


“We are closely monitoring water levels. The current situation is stable. Every year, our crews prepare for the spring runoff, and this year is no exception. Along with our partners, we are ready to intervene if necessary. I invite you to consult our Web site where you can track water levels on your own, and obtain useful tips on the issue,” indicated Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin.


- Mr André Turgeon, CCMU coordinator Ville de Gatineau

- Mayor of Ville de Gatineau, Mr Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin

- Mrs Sonia Béland, head of civil security Ville de Gatineau
Head of various missions meeting at the CCMU.

Associated link

Spring runoff

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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 292 000 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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