Compiled by the Ward 3 Team from various City of Ottawa sources
Pothole Repirs Update (May 9)
Our pothole crews have continued their work on temporary repairs, and since April 14, 134 crews have been assigned and filled over 30,000 potholes! This brings our year-to-date total – January 1 to May 4 – to more than 106,400 potholes filled. The number of potholes filled between January 1 and May 4, 2023 (106,400) is 20% above the 3-year average (88,356) for this period.
Python Pothole Patcher
Work has wrapped up in both the East and West Suburban areas, but the Python Pothole Patchers still have work to do in the urban and rural areas. Residents should be on the lookout for these cool machines! If you see them while travelling, please, do not pass them. They may be filling a pothole, but remember that it will only take a few minutes!
Check out this video of the Python Pothole Patcher in action!
Coming Soon - Hot Mix Asphalt!
Now that warmer temperatures are on the horizon, crews will be transitioning to hot mix asphalt. Through the month of May as our suppliers of hot asphalt come online, this will become the primary material for pothole patching. This is the material of choice because it can be compacted manually or by machine, can be applied with asphalt adhesive to create a better bond to the road and results in a longer lasting repair. Hot mix is used for most, if not all, asphalt repairs including potholes, skin patches and ironwork base repairs.
Crews will continue with pothole repair work through the summer! While our pothole repairs are not permanent, the work we do in warmer, dryer conditions is often longer lasting.
Residents can report a pothole on the road, by visiting Ottawa.ca.
Thank you for your continued support of our operations.
Pothole Repairs Update (April 17)
Since the end of March, pothole crews have continued their work on temporary repairs, and 79 crews have been assigned and filled over 11,300 potholes! This brings our year-to-date total – January 1 to April 13 – to more than 76,370 potholes filled. The number of potholes filled between January 1 and April 13, 2023 (76,376) is 7% above the 3-year average (71,408) for this period.
Python Pothole Patcher
Our pothole repair blitz continues, and we are happy to announce that reinforcements arrived today! We have secured 4 Python 5000 machines, or as we like to call them – Python Pothole Patchers. So, what are they? The Python Pothole Patcher has the ability to fill a pothole in less than two minutes. With the operator working safely from inside the cab, workers are protected from oncoming traffic as the work can all be completed without the need of stepping foot outside of the vehicle.
The Python Pothole Patcher is coming to a neighbourhood near you! If you spot our machines working in your community, please wave to our operators from a safe distance. If you see them while travelling, please, do not pass them. They may be filling a pothole, but remember that this will only take a few minutes!
Residents can report a pothole on the road, by visiting Ottawa.ca.
Spring Flooding Update (May 26)
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is pleased to inform you that flood conditions are such that the City can lower its posture and return to Monitoring Operations.
Effective Monday, May 29, the EOC will be de-mobilizing and all remaining flood recovery activities will be managed under the Public Works Department’s Spring Freshet Task Force.
Over the past several days, the EOC has overseen the following:
Pamphlet distribution and safety visits to approximately 300 homes by the Ottawa Fire Services. The pamphlets contained information on key contacts and websites related to flood recovery, as well as information specific to health and safety.
Curbside collection of used sandbags (and other flood-related debris) in impacted areas. Please note that, while residents have done an excellent job already at bringing their used sandbags to the curb, the Public Works Department will continue to provide flood-related debris removal service for the next couple of weeks. To date, 80 tonnes worth of used sandbags have been collected.
Regular updates to the City’s Spring Flooding website (ottawa.ca/springflooding) and Facebook page.
The de-commissioning of 28 of the 29 City sites that had been set up with sand and empty sandbags for residents to access/fill.
The Public Works Department will continue to liaise with community organizations, implicated Councillors, and other stakeholders for the remainder of the flood season. Any residual community supports will be overseen by the Office of Emergency Management, who will fulfil a liaison function within the Public Works Department’s Spring Freshet Task Force.
Information updates will be primarily provided through the City’s Spring Flooding webpage, going forward.
The EOC would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their assistance, support, and input this flood season. The Emergency and Protective Services Department (EPS) and the Public Works Department will conduct a post-event de-brief with the view to capturing lessons observed for future situations. EPS will also continue to liaise with the Province to pursue seasonal spring flooding mitigation strategies.
As part of the EOC’s demobilization, the Council Liaison mailbox will no longer be monitored. Starting May 29, please direct any queries to: email@example.com.
Spring Flooding Update (May 17)
The EOC is updating the City’s website to provide guidance to residents on topics such as sandbag disposal, utility re-activation, and health and safety considerations (e.g., how to disinfect and test your well water after a flood). With help from Ottawa Fire Services, we will also be distributing pamphlets to flood-impacted areas so that residents have a quick reference of easily accessible phone numbers and websites. The visits will commence this Friday and continue over the weekend.
We are planning for unused asset cleanup and sandbag collection operations to begin early next week. Residents are being asked to bring their filled/used sandbags to the curb for collection. Of note, sand and sandbags that have come into contact with flood waters may have been exposed to contaminants. Residents should wear gloves when handling them. Also, sandbag contents should never be disposed of in lakes, rivers, beaches, parks or other protected areas.
The EOC expects debris removal operations to take at least a couple of weeks. This will allow residents time for the removal of sandbags from private property without an artificial pressure to complete work when planning may be required. We estimate that there are approximately 140,000 sandbags in West Carleton, Britannia and Cumberland. We are also aware that some homes may have flood-related household waste/trash. This can be placed at the curb as part of regular garbage collection.
In addition to checking the City’s website (ottawa.ca/springflooding) and Spring Flood 2023 Facebook group for regular updates, we encourage residents to continue to reach out to 3-1-1 if they have any questions.
In the short-term, the EOC will keep in place the portable toilets that were deployed, as well as the supply of bottled water for residents that lost access to their septic systems or private wells due to flooding. The process through which to test private wells before resumption of use, for example, involves several steps over the course of multiple days. The portable toilets and bottled water are also useful to family members, neighbours, and volunteers who may be assisting with sandbag removals.
We’ll send another update next week.
Spring Flooding Update (May 10)
According to the Ottawa River Regulating Committee (ORRC), levels and flows continue to decline slowly in all locations. With the forecast of sunny weather and little precipitation, levels are expected to continue declining over the coming week.
The City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is still asking residents to remain vigilant though, to keep their protective measures (e.g., sandbags) in place for now, and to monitor conditions closely.
Before the water crested this past weekend, we unfortunately saw some additional impacts in flood-prone areas. We now assess that approximately 160 properties have implemented protective measures (e.g., sandbags). In addition, we estimate there are a total of 80 properties with septic systems or private wells that have been compromised by flooding. There are currently 17 properties experiencing utility disruptions due to flooding.
Over the course of the past few days, the EOC has continued to work with community partners to ensure that the right supports are in place for impacted residents. This information is being regularly updated on the City’s website (ottawa.ca/springflooding).
The EOC also worked with Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais – Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue (SBO-OVSAR) on a targeted, two-day deployment for specific supports related to sandbag reinforcement and site assessments in the Constance Bay area. Here is a short video they produced of their work.
We anticipate that if conditions hold, we will be able to start transitioning to flood recovery. This will include:
Debris management (including guidance on the safe disposal of sandbags);
Community supports related to well water testing and information on septic systems, among other topics; and,
Roadway and water infrastructure inspections and rehabilitation.
It’s been heartwarming to see community members working together to support each other. We know, however, that this is a very stressful time. For mental health-related resources and supports, we are encouraging residents to visit the Ottawa Public Health Mental Health site.
Spring Flooding Update (May 4)
The recent precipitation has been concerning in that we’ve seen water levels along the main stem of the Ottawa River rise in all locations. We know that residents living in flood-prone areas have had a stressful week.
The latest forecast from the Ottawa River Regulating Committee (ORRC), however, indicates that water levels and flows are expected to stabilize into the weekend and should start to decline slowly next week with the return of sunny and drier weather.
Based on the current situation, the City has maintained its response posture this week:
Public Works Department staff filled sandbags for on-going distribution in neighbourhoods impacted by flooding. We have attached some photos to this email of staff hard at work.
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has deployed additional portable toilets and is making water available to impacted areas in West Carleton where septic systems and private wells have been affected by flooding.
Neighbourhood flood water level assessments continue to be performed by City staff in West Carleton, Britannia, and Cumberland. In a handful of cases, Ottawa Fire Services is making visits to specific homes that have been identified to the City (either by residents or partner organizations) as requiring an additional level of check-in.
The EOC continues to monitor and address impacts to City-owned roads, pathways, and parks. The list of impacted City sites is updated regularly at ottawa.ca/springflooding.
The EOC’s Community Supports Task Force is liaising with a range of internal and external partners to anticipate resident needs, including related to mental health, such that the right supports are available.
Health and Safety of Residents
Whenever there is any flooding, it is vitally important to prioritize the health and safety of residents, as well as responders and volunteers in the area. The Electrical Safety Authority (easafe.com) is working closely with local utility providers to assess where it may be necessary to disconnect hydro due to flooding. Enbridge Gas has also attended flood-prone areas to assess where properties may require natural gas to be shut off due to elevated water levels.
While the impact of these required safety measures can be significant to affected residents, we are fortunately not seeing a large number of shut-offs being required at this time. To date, there are three homes in West Carleton requiring both gas and hydro disruptions, four other homes in that area requiring a gas disruption only, and two additional homes requiring a hydro disruption only. For additional context, these properties represent approximately seven per cent (7%) of the total properties city-wide that have put in place flood mitigation measures (e.g., sandbags). The EOC is liaising directly with the impacted residents and is updating the City website to provide guidance related to utility management.
Residents impacted by flooding are encouraged to call 3-1-1. The EOC has been made aware that in some cases, due to geography, some calls to 3-1-1 are going to Gatineau. If any resident is having trouble connecting to the City of Ottawa’s 3-1-1 directly, they can call 613-580-2400. This information has also been posted to the City’s flood website.
Spring Flooding Update (May 2)
As expected, water levels have risen at all locations along the main stem of the Ottawa River. There has been a significant amount of precipitation over much of the basin, with continued rain in the forecast until Wednesday.
The impacts to the city of Ottawa, however, are still relatively small. While current water levels have surpassed the peaks observed between April 21-23 and are expected to increase a further 25-35 cm (depending on location), they are forecast to remain below historical flood levels. As well, the Ottawa River Regulating Committee estimates that water levels are expected to remain 45-100 cm below what we saw in 2019 along the main stem of the Ottawa River.
The City continues to monitor conditions very closely. At this time, we have observed minor impacts to roads and some parks, but nothing impacting critical infrastructure related to flood waters. We are encouraging residents, however, to report any issues to 3-1-1.
We estimate that approximately 130 private properties have implemented flood mitigation measures (e.g., sandbags), the majority of which are in West Carleton. While there has not been a significant increase in demand for sand and empty sandbags recently, the City continues to make these resources available to residents at multiple locations. Public Works Department staff are also filling some additional sandbags this week, so that a small amount of filled sandbags can continue to be available to residents in flood-prone neighbourhoods.
We anticipate conditions to stabilize somewhat after this weekend. The Emergency Operations Centre is working on plans to continue to support residents for the next phase of the flood season.
Thanks so much for your continued support.
Spring Flooding Update (April 28)
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to monitor flood conditions closely. As with most years, we are seeing some fluctuation.
Over the course of the next few days, we are expecting water levels to increase slightly or to potentially return to those observed between April 21-23. Ontario will see precipitation over the next several days, starting Saturday in Ottawa. The effects of rainfall and snowmelt (where snowpack still exists in the North) are the key conditions being monitored.
The EOC will therefore maintain its current operational posture but we are not introducing any new measures at this time. Instead, we are continuing to:
Have Public Works Department staff conduct daily on-site assessments of flood-prone areas;
Monitor closely the information coming in from the Conservation Authorities and the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (ORRPB);
Update our website (ottawa.ca/springflooding) and the Spring Flood 2023 Facebook page (Spring Flood 2023 Facebook group);
Monitor for impacts to critical infrastructure; and,
Make sand and empty sandbags available to the community at various locations throughout the city.
Residents are advised not to remove any sandbag preparations they may have in place, at this time.
Residents with private wells that were impacted by flood water are reminded to follow Ottawa Public Health guidelines before using their wells again. This includes waiting for flood water to recede before beginning the process (Residential Flooding - Ottawa Public Health).
Spring Flooding Update (April 24)
Water levels along the main stem of the Ottawa River are expected to be fairly stable or to decrease slightly in all locations over the next few days. Overall, we are still within a 1 in 10-year flood event range.
The risk is trending in the right direction, but we are still somewhat early in the flood season.
Since late last week, we are seeing some minor flooding in low-lying, flood-prone areas. This has resulted in three road closures in West Carleton, an impact to a path west of the Ron Kolbus Community Centre parking lot in Britannia, and no access to:
· Petrie Island (Cumberland)
· Blair Road boat launch (Rothwell Heights)
There are still no impacts to any of the City’s assets that are managed by the Infrastructure and Water Services Department.
GUIDANCE TO RESIDENTS
The City is encouraging residents to continue to monitor flood forecasts and to take the necessary actions to prepare/protect their properties – that includes ensuring that the sandbags they have put in place are not taken down too early. It is best to monitor and maintain current protective measures at this time.
Our guidance to residents this week is to stay the course.
Having said that though, we know that residents like planning ahead. As a result, we will be posting guidance on our website shortly about the process for proper sandbag removal/disposal. We are also starting to receive questions about well water testing. While inspections cannot be performed until flood waters recede, we will also share guidance about this topic.
The City has observed that residents in West Carleton, Britannia and Cumberland have been taking appropriate measures to protect their properties.
City staff have filled approximately 45,000 sandbags for distribution to higher-risk neighbourhoods. This, coupled with volunteer-led initiatives in West Carleton, has provided a steady source of filled sandbags for residents in flood-prone areas to access. The City also continues to have sand and empty sandbags available at approximately 25 sites across the city for self-filling and take-away.
The City is not going to organize its own volunteer sandbag-filling initiative this week. We have assessed that the conditions are such that a surge effort of this nature is not required at this time. We would also like to reserve some volunteer capacity for later, should it be necessary to seek that additional level of support.
We will send you another update later this week. Thank you for your support in filling sandbags, visiting impacted areas, amplifying City messaging and looking out for residents’ needs.
Spring Flooding Update (April 20)
The City remains in Enhanced Operations, and activities are being centrally coordinated through the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
The City continues to monitor information from the Conservation Authorities. At this time, flood forecasts remain within the return period for a 10-year event, indicating an onset of flooding slightly beyond “normal” (i.e., 1 in 2-year or 1 in 5-year events).
Early yesterday afternoon, the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (ORRB) released the following statement:
“Water levels and flows on the main stem of the Ottawa River are increasing in all locations in response to the rapid melt of the snowpack in the basin. Between Lake Coulonge and the Montreal region, levels are expected to continue increasing today and tomorrow, stabilizing near the major flood level over the next few days. The major flood level is defined as the level at which one or several streets are beginning to flood, with several houses/buildings or neighbourhoods being affected. Water levels are currently expected to remain well below historical flood levels on the main stem of the Ottawa River.”
Over the past week, the Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) completed visits to all homes identified as being in higher flood-risk neighbourhoods. Specifically, OFS attended residences that would be expected to experience flooding during a 1-in-20 year event (i.e., higher than what is currently expected). The visits provided the opportunity to distribute information pamphlets and to connect with residents directly.
In addition, the City has focused on the following:
Regular surveillance by the Infrastructure and Water Services Department’s Stormwater Management Team of the most recent forecasting provided by the Conservation Authorities, as well as on-site assessm