The Lanark Village Flood 1998


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Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority— Photo–Lanark Village Flood 1998

1998 – Flooding occurred along the Clyde and Mississippi Rivers. An emergency was declared. Flooding caused considerable strife for a number of weeks.

If you have personal memories, PM me–leave a comment– or email me at so I can add them here for a more in depth story.


See Memories of the Lanark Flood- by Wendell Crosbie tomorrow


Photo from the Almonte Gazette 1998

On the 8th of April 1998 the citizens of Lanark crowded on to the main street of that village to watch a home that was in danger of being swept away being covered by national news. In other parts of the Lanark Highlands, as well as the village of Lanark, the Clyde River had overflowed their  banks and a state of emergency was called for the area.

The Ontario Provincial Police had also called in a helicopter to search for those who might be stranded by flooded roads. Pakenham had also been at the mercy of the Mississippi River and  I remember the Riverbend trailer park near the town limits being underwater.


Photo from the Almonte Gazette 1998

Even those with double sump pumps found themselves in waist high water in their basement while Water Street completely flooded. Two hundred members of the military had descended on the village of Lanark while another 100 went up to Dalhousie Lake to fill and place sandbags around the local homes. Lanark set up a billeting system  at private homes rather than open a shelter.

A Mississippi Mills firefighter was quoted as saying that the ice storm of 1998 was a terrible inconvenience to everyone, but this was a disaster. Firemen soon found out that they were better fighting fires than floods and Beckwith, Glen Isle Pakenham, Dalhousie Lake were all affected but none so seriously as the village of Lanark.


Photo from the Almonte Gazette 1998

Because most people were not covered by flood insurance –some wondered if they would be eligible for some government coverage similar to the ice storm of January 1998. After it was all over some played the blame game while others reviewed where they might have gone wrong and seriously looked at those who had built on flood plains.


Photo from the Almonte Gazette 1998

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Photo from the Almonte Gazette 1998


There are other photos of the flood on Google Image- but I refuse to pay $19.95 each to put them up on here but– do check out the 4 different photos by clicking here. There is even one of Jason Labelle age 14 at the time riding his bike and The Ark which as you know was flooded.

Canadian Disaster Database

Event Category Disaster
Event Group Natural
Event Subgroup Meteorological – Hydrological
Event Type Flood
Place Eastern Ontario and Quebec
Event Start Date March 28, 1998
Event End Date April 15, 1998
Comments Eastern Ontario and Quebec, March 28 – April 15, 1998. Warm weather and thunderstorms caused spring flooding. In Ontario, the Clyde River, Ottawa River, Mississippi River and rivers feeding Lake Nipissing overflowed. The lower Trent System below Peterborough from Rice Lake to Bay of Quinte also experienced flooding. States of Emergency were declared in these communities: Lanark Highlands, Village of Kearney, Township of Drummond, North Elmsley, Beckwith Township, Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills. In Quebec, over 15 rivers flooded and caused the evacuation of 3,697 people in 140 municipalities. Rivers on the North Shore of St. Lawrence River, St. Lawrence River, Assumption River, Chateauguay River, Richelieu River, Ottawa River, Lake St. Pierre and Lake Champlain flooded. Damage mainly occurred in the MontÃrÃgie and Mauricie regions.
Fatalities 0
Injured / Infected 0
Evacuated 3757
Estimated Total Cost $27,741,685
Federal DFAA Payments $7,246,824
Provincial DFAA Payments $14,570,459
Provincial Department Payments $5,924,402
Municipal Costs Unknown
OGD Costs Unknown
Insurance Payments Unknown
NGO Payments Unknown
Utility – People Affected 0
Magnitude 0.0


Related reading

The Aftermath of the Lanark Fire June 1959

The Lanark Fire of 1895

Lanark Fire 1959– Hour by Hour

The Lanark Fire June 15th 1959

Awaiting the Ice Storm of 1998? (pictures take time to load)



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. In the flood of 1998, Earl Ennis and myself worked hard sand bagging. I worked for Ontario Hydro at the time, worked very hard in the ice storm that caused the flood when the ice melted. Both Earl and I were exhausted after working long hours restoring power all over the Perth area.

    Once we had a chance to volunteer for the flood still being exhausted from the ice storm, we headed to Lanark Village. The Twp. had a war room set up and what location we could go and sand bag. First it was a hit and miss. the paid people did not understand what was a priority. Both Earl and I know Lanark County inside and out and what person or landowner that was calling in if they lived on a river or a lake. There was calls coming in that the barn in Drummond twp.had water coming onto the floor when the ice was melting off the roof, who would give a s–t about that.

    We were told that some homes in the Ferguson Falls area needed our help. Yes they did need our help and we sand bagged a home at the bridge and then made a walkway from elevated planks to the door from the high part of the driveway.

    We went to Drummond Twp. the next day, the twp. garage was the war room. Some of the paid twp. workers had a piss poor outlook. We were told the flooded homes along the Mississippi was the land owners problem not the twps. We ask who in the twp. needed help, they said Innisville. Earl and I headed to Innisville with sand bags. We spent more then a day there helping to fill and place sand bags with the Army. That was a different story, seeing grown army men trying to make their fellow female worker get wet or just make fun of them. If I worked with that type of men for very long I may have held one of them under the water. We met some of the people in Innesville that were happy for our help and some that did not.

    After Innisville we went to Lake Park Avenue, that was a complete joke. The one home owner or renter stayed in his house watching TV while we sand bagged his house.

    Yes I was a volunteer for the Flood of 1998 and worked many long hours in the ice storm. I have good and bad memories about them both.

    Liked by 1 person

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