• James Armstrong

Hudson Yacht Club weathering the flood waters


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

As the floodwaters of the Ottawa River slowly recede, Hudson Yacht Club is on comparatively higher and drier ground thanks to action taken following the 2017 spring flooding.

Acting on lessons learned during the 2017 flooding, the Hudson Yacht Club is safe and sound this year although the basement contains water and the clubhouse is nearly surrounded by the Ottawa River. Commodore Helen Hodgson confirmed on Monday, May 6 the icon of the Hudson waterfront is surviving the ordeal thanks to the efforts of members and management to carry out a major project to raise the building following the last inundation.

Raising the building project

“The basement is built so the water flows through it,” said Hodgson. “That’s why we left the windows open.” Allowing the water to flow in and providing an exit prevents damage to the foundation and the building remains in place.

“It’s a very robust construction,” she said noting the basement has to be kept empty.

To date, the height of the flooding river was four inches less than in 2017, according to the Commodore. In basement area, the water rose to within 30 inches of the floorboards above. “We did have flooding in areas that were not affected in 2017 and that seems to be a bit of a mystery,” she said. Because of the flooding, the town cut off municipal water services and members of the administration have had to use a portable toilet facility in the interim.

PHOTO COURTESY HELEN HODGSON

Clean-up

“When the waters recede there will be a mess on the property to clean up but we will be fully functional. There is no comparison to the damage that occurred in 2017,” said Hodgson. The stone terraces facing the water and at the entrance were also raised with the building and have remained above the water.

“Lots of members were concerned about losing the clubhouse after the 2017 flood,” she said. “We tried to keep the look and spirit of the old clubhouse as much as possible.”

Club offices have remained open on-site with some minor inconvenience for people working there.

Receding water levels

The level of the water has been receding since Friday, May 3, according to the Commodore. “It’s gone down almost a foot,” she reported. It’s good news as the annual opening dinner and dance is scheduled for Saturday, May 25. The club’s three day Spring Regatta, also scheduled for the same weekend, is on hold pending water levels.

“It is possible to get to the clubhouse without Billy boots,” she noted. “There have been some events that had to be cancelled. Things are up in the air particularly if the levels come back up.” The Lobster Dinner scheduled for Saturday, May 18, had to be cancelled according to Hodgson.

Effect of spring melt

Yacht club members have been receiving daily updates regarding the situation. In a recent social media post it was stated the waters could rise again depending upon upstream snow melt and rain fall in the Abitibi-Temiskaming region. The volume of the spring run-off could exceed the capacity of most reservoirs making it necessary to release excess water. However, Hodgson remains optimistic.

“We hope to have everything fully functional for the beginning of June.”

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