A historic flooding they call it, a 100 year flood, record rainfall for the month of April... Mother Nature broke a lot of records.
The city fo Gatineau declared a state of emergency and the city of Ottawa was knee deep in water, sandbagging to protect the various properties close to the water. Petrie island in the East end of the city was completely flooded, disappeared under several feet of murky, muddy water.
For several days, people battled nature, tried to control it, to divert it, to manage it. It would not bend... the banks were overflowed and carrying debris, trees, sandals and patio furniture, the raging water were unstoppable.
It always amazes me how a community of people can rally and help each other in times of need. As human beings, in the 21st Century, we often forget that there is still some good in people.
During those two weeks of chaos and flooding, it was good to see all the various communities come together and fight nature as one.
Here, in Ottawa, we were mostly fine, given that we are on higher grounds. Unfortunately, the people of Gatineau, Montreal and various small communities along the Ottawa river, they weren't so lucky. The province of Quebec called in the Military to help and it was reassuring to see the military being there for the citizens of this great country working hard at preserving and saving lives instead of fighting a war. The war was one from Mother Nature! Not easily tamed, not easily controlled...
Nobody controls the weather, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. We could pray for relief and beg for sunshine but in the end, we had to brace for the worst and tackle the unthinkable.
We received the email late at night on Saturday. Our sailing Club was asking for volunteers since the water had gone so high that there was now water coming into the lounge and bar area and the berm was under tremendous pressure. The erosion from the raging waters was devastating and there were concerns over a berm letting go.
Dan was part of the relief team, sandbagging and helping out. I was on the computer every hour, checking the water level and monitoring the rise and fall of the waters.
I charted a record water level at 60.50 metres at the height of the flood. Now, two weeks later, I charted a water level of 59.40 meters. We lost more than 1 metre of water which is huge.
Thank God, the berm held! We are now in the cleaning up phase and once again, people are rallying to help each other.
This historic flood will find itself in the history book and will be remembered by all the citizens that lived around the Ottawa River in the Spring of 2017.