I didn’t think my first post here was going to be a negative, or something mysterious, sad or scary but yet here we are. I guess it’s like that when you live close to a water line.
For us here in Hudson, we share the Ottawa River with Oka on the other side. We dock our boat at the Hudson Yacht Club and spend a lot of time out in Quarry Point (Parson’s Bay) in the summer/fall months.
Our river is beautiful. She’s also dangerous. She has a wicked current out in the channel aided by the Carillion Dam and the depths are quite impressive.
She was pretty mean to us last year. She gave us all a reminder that she is the boss and if we don’t treat her right she will let us know.
Last years melt, the runoff was severe and instant. Heavy rain, mild temperatures and a frozen terrain sent the water right into our bowl. Carillion and Cornwall–>Valleyfield had no choice but to let out what they needed which naturally ended up straight to us. We are pretty much in a “V” with the Ottawa to the North and the St. Lawrence seaway to the South.
The result was natural. Hundreds of homes damaged if not destroyed. Debris littered yards and shores. The volunteer effort was nothing short of incredible, but questionable of how much it actually saved.
If anything though, perhaps it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Neighborhoods and volunteers from everywhere came together to help strangers. Our military was available and spirits were strong… although the reality of the damage soon set in.
Right now as it stands, 5pm Mar.28 Carillion is outflowing 1,450 cubic meters per second.
Last year at this time it was 3028.
So far….so good….I think… only that…the water level didn’t go down in the summer months.
Put it this way, our boat is a 21ft cruiser. We we are docked in the inner harbor. We are normally harbourlocked for a couple weeks in August…meaning that the water is so low that we can’t get out of the club.
This past year… I barely even used my trim, and by the looks of the shoreline…etc, there is plenty of water and the melt is just starting.
I do have faith in those running the dams…controlling the output, making the decisions, but hey man…we are all nervous.
I still have friends that aren’t back in their homes. Government vs insurance vs bylaws vs natural disasters….nobody wins.
In light of all this, Mayors from all across the shoreline are doing their best to prepare. Sandbags, water retaining equipment and public announcements have already been seen. By-laws have been put forth, such as restrictions on building in 100 year flood plains as our Mayor has. All these things are great, our fire department is ready to go, I’m certain volunteers are ready to go but one has to wonder…what can really be done to actually stop a flood?
I’m not sure who was the hardest hit. Neighboring Rigaud (pictured above) took a beating…upstate NY declared an emergency and as far as Montreals West Island was impacted. The sheer range of this all is difficult to even imagine.
I myself am clearly not a scientist, weather expert…geographical scholar nor a disaster relief veteran so I absolutely do not have the answers. I’m just not sure that anyone at all does in fact have a solution.
One thing I’ve heard mumble about is a possible new basin in the area. Where runoff spring water can gather. From the looks of the maps and reading multiple articles, it’s as if our particular watershed hasn’t “needed” one….until now that is.
I believe along side of what are we going to do this year, we should also be talking about what we are going to do forever. Flooding is controlled all over the world, I believe we have the technology here and I have faith our political leaders and environmentalists are looking at this…I just wish I could fast forward until it’s done done.
All that being said, our Kichisìpi is tough, fast and resilient. She is breathtakingly beautiful and vicious. She provides power to our homes and businesses, let’s us leisure in the bays, allows us to fish, hunt and water ski…sun tan and swim…she is alluring, unassuming and captivating but the one thing that she isn’t…is forgiving.