Constance Bay residents band together to fight ‘heartbreaking’ flooding – Ottawa

Volunteers packed sandbags Saturday and trucked them out to Constance Bay residents staring down what the local councillor is calling a “heartbreaking” flood situation.

“It is heartbreaking. Because to see it all blown away, nothing you can do about it — it’s just like watching somebody drown, and you can’t swim. It is emotional,” said Coun. Eli El-Chantiry.

The City of Ottawa said Friday afternoon that about 75 properties had been affected by the heavy rains and rising floodwaters, with the majority of those properties in the west-end neighbourhood along the Ottawa River.

On Bayview Drive, one of the hardest hit streets in Constance Bay, residents waded through waist-deep water Saturday afternoon as fire crews went door to door, checking on people.

A partially-submerged home on Bayview Drive in Ottawa’s Constance Bay neighbourhood in Ottawa on May 6, 2017. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

People stand outside a flooded garage on Bayview Drive in Ottawa’s Constance Bay neighbourhood on May 6, 2017. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

The flooding in Constance Bay feels like ‘watching someone drown and you can’t swim,’ said Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, who represents the neighbourhood. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

El-Chantiry told CBC News his own home “up the road” was also under more than a metre of water.

“It’s so hard to see people’s life savings, people’s homes [lost]. On the other hand, we’re thankful no one got hurt. We managed to get people out that need to be out,” said El-Chantiry.

“I’m one of those people, also,” he added. “We’re no different from the rest of the folks here.”

At the nearby community centre, Steve Nason of Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue helped coordinate the relief efforts.

“It says a lot about the community. There’s been a ton of people coming out today to help out,” Nason said.

“The expectation is we’ll probably be here as long as we’re…

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