Gatineau warns residents along river in Aylmer of potential for flooding

Five thousand sand bags are at the ready for residents of Aylmer.

The city of Gatineau has issued a warning about a potential for minor flooding as river waters rise. About 27 homes along Fraser Street are considered a priority.  Many of those homes were hit during last year‘s major flood.

This isn‘t a happy anniversary for the Clemann family and many others along Fraser Street in the Aylmer sector of Gatineau.

It was one year ago today that the flood waters surrounded their house and filled up their basement, forcing them out of their home. 

“This is our basement, it’s taken over our garage,” says Sara Clemann, as she points out boxes filling up the double-car garage, “We didn’t want to renovate in case a flood happens again;  there’s no point.”

In fact, the city of Gatineau is warning residents along Fraser Street in particular of the potential for another flood this time, though, a minor one. There are two issues at play here:  a rapid rise in temperatures that could cause a quick melt up north and a significant amount of rainfall.  But the councillor for the area doesn‘t expect that to happen. Eighty-eight homes have been identified and the owners told where to pick up sand bags just in case.  So far, not a single sand bag has been claimed.

“There‘s no serious concern,” says Gatineau Councillor Mike Duggan, “This is a precautionary measure.  I call it a drill to make sure all the measures we took last year and that we learned from help us so that we‘re ready to react.”

Duggan says the river is expected to rise another 30 cm by Friday but he says that‘s still not an issue.

Aylmer resident Raymond Gaudet would agree.  He‘s lived along the river 40 years; his home was badly flooded last year.  But he says he isn‘t worried, at least not yet.

“This is normal as it is now,” says Gaudet, “but nobody can forecast what will happen in the next week or so but at the moment, there is no problem at all.”

Some of the residents along Fraser Street have just finished rebuilding their houses after last year‘s flood and improved them in the event they flood again.  Still, fingers crossed that won‘t happen.