We live about ten houses uphill from the Rideau River. The “uphill” part of that sentence is important.

This is Rideau Garden Drive, underwater.

Rideau Garden Dr., Ottawa, flooded

You may remember that Ottawa had an extraordinary amount of snow this year. According to today’s Ottawa Citizen, the total snowfall is now over 436 cms (= 14’1″). That’s the second highest total on record.

No surprise, then, that the Rideau River is spilling over its banks. A half-block of Belmont Ave. is more hospitable to canoes than cars.

Belmont Ave., Ottawa, flooded

I like this photo (click to enlarge). Sometimes a very ordinary object repays attention, as I explained in a recent comment.

overfull storm sewer

This area tends to flood in the springtime. Not every year, but frequently enough that someone drove a measuring stick into the ground. I have no idea how accurate it is — whether the river is actually three feet above its normal level.

three feet and rising

The Rideau River has already peaked (probably). The Ottawa River is still rising, though.

Next up is a photograph I took last month. To reduce the risk of flooding, the municipality breaks up the ice each spring (so that the ice doesn’t jam and cause the river to back up). Some years, they can use a boat equipped with a device that pounds the ice into fragments.

This year, the ice must have been thicker:  the city used dynamite.

Thar she blows!

I’ve manipulated the image using Paint Shop Pro. The boat is there to make waves, and thus to wash the ice fragments out into moving water.

This is Brantwood Park, a few blocks away from our house. You can see why it’s a park, and the lots aren’t developed for housing!

Brantwood Park, Ottawa, flooded

Nice weather for ducks!

nice weather for ducks!

Not so nice if you’re an ant, looking for a picnic to raid.

ant-free picnic location


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bridgett
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 22:57:32

    Oh crap. Everything that rises must converge, and all that snowmelt has to go somewhere. Here in the Missouri-Mississippi-Ohio River valleys, we await our spring.


  2. Zayna
    Apr 13, 2008 @ 14:30:12

    Wow, dynamite eh? That must have been fun to watch!

    And of course, for obvious reasons, I love the picture of the duck casually swimming through the flooded playground.

    Luckily, we are much more than “10 houses uphill” from any river, that and our property slopes downward AND we have a drain at the end of our driveway, so flooding should not be a problem for us.

    But with all that snow melting so quickly, I hope no one is terribly surprised…especially the city planners…you know, the same people who didn’t think to augment the snow removal budget and wanted us taxpayers to pay for the removal of snow that wasn’t being removed…at least in our neck of the woods.

    Okay, sorry, I’m ranting now. Great post and even better pics.


  3. Bill
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 07:43:31

    I went to work by the Ottawa River parkway which is substancially higher than the river and the river is getting very close at one point. The Remic Rapids look like a kayakers dream and they are making an incredible roar.


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