Fast Flowing Waters and Tragedy

March 06, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

In the last few weeks we’ve heard of several deaths and serious accidents occurring near the flooding waterways in the Region. It seems that every year the police, municipalities and conservation authorities issue advisories for people to stay away from the banks of the flooding waterways, and to stay off of them, and the thin ice that may remain on them.  Every year we hear of the tragic death of people who fall into the rivers and succumb to drowning.

Spring river conditions are extremely dangerous. The rivers are flooding with water barely above freezing. Huge debris is concealed in the waters – logs, chunks of ice are floating barely visible. The water is murky and flowing extremely fast. The banks are slippery. If you fall in the chances of getting out on your own before you drown from hypothermia or are dragged under by trees or other debris is slim.

To put things into perspective the Grand River in Galt flows at 15 cubic metres per second in the summer period. During the flood we had a couple of weeks ago the river was flowing at about 833 cubic metres per second – that’s 55 times the summer flow. The strength of the water to move objects is unimaginable.

Here are some safety tips for flooding:

  • NEVER drive on a flooded road. You don’t know if the road is washed out or how fast the water is flowing. It only takes two feet of water to float a vehicle and once you are floating you are at the mercy of the water.
  • ALWAYS SUPERVISE CHILDREN near the water. NEVER let them anywhere near flooding bodies of water. The bank may seem safe but can be undercut and let go at anytime.
  • Don’t enter flooding water bodies. If you see someone fall in immediately call for help and follow them on shore if it is safe. Throw a rope of scarf to them to pull them back in.
  • As tempting as it may be do not tour flooding areas. Roads and bridges may be unsafe.

During and after a flood:

  • If you home has been flooded do not re-enter until authorities deem it safe. Electrocution is a real concern if the power was not cut off by hydro. Gas leaks are also a concern, as is the integrity of the pipelines serving your house.
  • Call the health unit and the municipality with concerns about water and structural issues.
  • Structural damage and mould are concerns to every home that is flooded.
  • Never enter or walk through flood waters as they may be heavily contaminated.




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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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