Brantwood Park Escapes Major Flood Damage …

But OOE Already Planning for the Next Big One

With a sense of relief that Old Ottawa East narrowly escaped major flooding this spring, some residents aren’t waiting to see what next year has in store.
They want to ensure their community is ready for future calamities.
A group based on Glengarry Road is assembling a contact network to help prepare for the next flood and be better coordinated when it hits.
Led by Glengarry resident Pauline Lynch-Stewart, they are asking people in Rideau Gardens and other affected neighbourhoods to come forward so that community responses next year can be effective and coordinated.
“I am proposing to gather volunteers to research what should be done to better prepare for our next flood,” said Lynch-Stewart, 56, who pitched the idea to the Old Ottawa East Community Association at the group’s May meeting.
The OECA agreed. It gave Lynch-Stewart until next January to gather information and report back.
Among the questions Lynch-Stewart will try answer are: what are the roles of the city and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority? Lynch-Stewart praised the RVCA for sending warnings by e-mail in the days before the river crested in mid-April and following up with advice on fighting potential floodwaters.
Lynch-Stewart was on the RVCA mailing list before the Rideau River began to surge. When she received the “alarming” e-mail from the RVCA that it expected river levels to be the highest in more than five years – and perhaps the highest ever – she quickly warned neighbours who weren’t aware of the danger.
“I kind of found myself in the position of communicating to my neighbours, providing a liaison between the authorities and homeowners,” she said.
Lynch-Stewart also had praise for the Community Activities Group of Old Ottawa East, specifically executive director Carol Workun, who helped her spread the word about flooding risks.
She admitted though, that residents caught a break. Weather that was less severe than expected diminished the flood threat on the weekend of April 12-13.
Rather than wait for the last minute to put together an action plan, Lynch-Stewart said, the community should be ready by next winter’s arrival. Besides establishing a communications network, she hoped volunteers would also be ready to acquire sandbags and liaise with the city.
Despite water levels on the Rideau reaching five-year highs this spring, damage to Brantwood Park proved minimal.
Earlier in the spring, both the city and the RVCA warned low-lying areas along the Rideau River should expect extensive flooding. But Brantwood Park escaped with little more damage than in some previous years.
Area resident Petra Brougham, who spearheads the annual cleanup of the park said this year’s flooding left more debris and displaced much of the sand from the play areas near the water’s edge, but it was by no means extraordinary. She added people often forget that Brantwood Park used to see this level of flooding almost every year.
The flooding will not likely affect Brantwood Park’s planned programs or activities.

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