Eastern Ontario communities reeling as Ottawa River hits historic high

OTTAWA — Lynne Lavictoire wants to go home. The only way she can get anywhere near it is by boat.

For the time being, she’s set up at a hotel where she is praying her home in La Passe, Ont. — along the Ottawa River — is salvageable.

“I’ve got to say my biggest fear is that my house is going to cave in,” she said.

“All I can say is ‘Don’t flow over my sandbags because literally my house will cave in. It can’t withstand it.”

If Lavictoire can save her house, it is debatable if she can live in it again due to worry of mould and mildew.

She’s not prepared to say goodbye to her property — she describes it as ”paradise.”

“I love the water,” she said. “I love my peace; I love my quiet.”

Two years ago, Lavictoire faced flooding and had to put up sandbags on her property.

She now estimates there are about 5,000 bags in place for this flood, built up like a fortress around her home.

When she left at the end of April, she was in tears.

“I cried, and I all could think is ‘I want to go home,” she said. “‘I just want to go home.’”

Thousands of sandbags may not be enough, however, to hold back the force of the Ottawa River and its historic levels.

Soldiers with the Canadian Armed Forces have been working to try and save homes in eastern Ontario communities that have declared states of emergency due to historic water levels in some areas.

Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett said Sunday that about 40 military members continue to work in his township, along with provincial officials, as hundreds of residents contend with flooding.

Bennett said his township, located along the Ottawa River south of Pembroke, Ont., declared a state of emergency at the end of April but sandbagging efforts continue.

The experience has been “very straining” for everyone including office staff, road crews and volunteers, he said.

“It is tough to watch these residents fighting for their homes,” Bennett said.

The cleanup is going to be massive, he added.

“I’m not thinking about that right now,” he said, noting the focus now is protecting residents. “We’ll get through it.”

Nearby Pembroke also remains in a state of emergency, as does the City of Ottawa.

The nation’s capital made the declaration on April 25, which prompted assistance from the province and the Canadian Armed Forces.

David Fraser, an emergency management volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross said Sunday his organization will support communities and assess the needs of the families and individuals impacted by the flooding.

The first wave of volunteers is usually from the area, he said, adding others can be called in from elsewhere as they need to be replaced.

“That is definitely one of the strengths of the Red Cross is that we have volunteers that are trained to deploy into situations like this … right across the country,” he said.

Just Posted

Some students from Edmonton, Calgary will be in Red Deer to rally for Hong Kong

A group of pro-democracy students from Hong Kong at the University of… Continue reading

Hometown Hockey comes to Red Deer next weekend

Red Deer will host Rogers Hometown Hockey next weekend. Ron MacLean and… Continue reading

City spending $10M on overpass that won’t be need for a decade

An impassioned Red Deer city councillor failed to sway his colleagues from… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport looks to buy new administration building

Airport has asked to borrow $240,000 from Red Deer County for office purchase

Red Deer ranked 10th most dangerous place in Canada

Red Deer is the 10th most dangerous place in Canada, rankings by… Continue reading

Central Albertans help families during holidays with Christmas Wish Breakfast

It takes a community to help a community. And Sunday morning at… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

Amazon says it’s considered face scanning in Ring doorbells

Amazon has considered adding facial recognition technology to its Ring doorbell cameras,… Continue reading

Ontario government introduces bill to update rules for realtors

TORONTO — The Ontario government has introduced a bill to update regulations… Continue reading

TC Energy eyes options to ramp up Keystone volumes despite pressure limit

CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. is looking at “optimizing” unaffected parts of… Continue reading

Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt reprise `90s hit `Mad About You’

LOS ANGELES — Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt thought long and hard… Continue reading

Federal Court orders Canada’s ISPs to block TV piracy website for first time

TORONTO — A Federal Court is ordering Canada’s internet service providers to… Continue reading

University of Calgary to slash payroll after post-secondary funding cuts

The government is also cutting all funding for the Infrastructure Maintenance Program

Opinion: Climbing cost of drinking water a drain on low-income earners

Environmentalists and water economists have long argued Canadian households have not conserved… Continue reading

Most Read