Lake Témiscamingue Rise: Elected Officials Dissatisfied

The Ottawa River Planning and Regulatory Commission, an organization made up of the Ontario, Quebec and federal ministries of the environment, Hydro-Quebec, Public Services and Procurement of Canada, among others, manages the flow of water there.

After heavy rain last week, when 90mm of water fell on the area, dam officials opened the gates, according to Claire Boldock, state Témiscamingue.

What happened is that in order to control the flow of water in southern Quebec, there was an opening of the Angleri Dam and it happened at night., explains Ms Bolduc, who adds that it could have had dire consequences.

The damage was great, but it could have been very dangerous because there were people at the moorings, who were in their boats, and they felt the sudden rise in the water. We ended up in Lake Témiscamingue, in a body of water that is very crowded in summer, with a lot of driftwood, which leads to safety issues for users.

Rising waters cut wood in Lake Témiscamingue.

Image source: Nico Gervais

The MRC governor cannot explain why the commission did not plan its intervention better when multi-day weather forecasts suggested there would be significant water accumulations.

We predict the quantity, and we can block it out and say “Watch out, there’s going to be a lot of precipitation,” so we’re able to predict it also at the dam level. In the layout, it may be necessary to open the valves a little in advance and open them slowly. This is a layout element that we would love to see often.

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This is not the first time that elected officials from Témiscamingue have questioned the organization’s planning and communication methods.

In the wake of the 2019 floods, a meeting was held between UNHCR representatives and local elected officials to improve communication.

Claire Boldock believes there is still a long way to go.

Unthinkable to open the gates in the middle of the night at full speed without warning the neighboring communities and this is a major communication issue.

The Ottawa River Regulatory Planning Commission has yet to respond to an interview request.

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