Floodwaters wash over a landmark lighthouse that was toppled in Pembroke late Friday.
Tina Peplinskie / Postmedia
A landmark at the Pembroke Marina has fallen victim to rising waters of the Ottawa River and large ice chunks.Late Friday night, the lighthouse at the marina was toppled and as of Saturday morning, the rock shoal leading to the lighthouse was under water. Waves were also crashing into the boardwalk and large pieces of ice and debris were inching closer to the top of the boardwalk. Fred Blackstein, community volunteer who was instrumental in building the boardwalk, was on hand Saturday morning to check on the structure before heading to Algonquin College to see how close the water was getting to the Waterfront Campus.According to the latest report released Saturday morning at 9 a.m. by the Ottawa River Regulating Committee on the level of the Ottawa River, the level at Pembroke was 113.08 metres above sea level, compared to the 2017 peak of 113.03 metres above sea level. The forecast peak level for April 28 is now 113.50, a change of 42 centimetres from the current level and peak forecast.The city has placed large concrete barriers atop the boardwalk extending out on the jetty at the marina in an attempt to keep the boardwalk in place.By Saturday afternoon, the Pembroke marina was closed to traffic and barriers erected at both entrances.With waters continuing to rise Saturday afternoon, city workers and Pembroke firefighters were sandbagging at the waterfront, attempting to protect some of the structures and also block off flood waters from flowing out onto Alexander Street. Because of the rising Ottawa River, the level of the Indian River at the confluence of the two rivers was also rising and looking like it could reach the foundation of Pembroke’s city hall. Firefighters and city staff were on hand to sandbag around the air conditioning unit.Pembroke Mayor Mike LeMay also visited the marina Saturday morning to see the lighthouse for himself. He said while it is sad to see it toppled, it can be replaced and will be before the boating season because it is essential to help people navigate near the marina. He noted that it is solar powered so there is no danger from electrical wires.He was surprised to see the amount of ice still on the river at the marina and he believes it could have contributed to the demise of the lighthouse along with the crashing waves.The mayor said city staff and the Pembroke Fire Department is monitoring the water situations, but for now it is a waiting game. He is also pleased the heavy rain has ended, which has created an additional level of concern in recent days.“Right now we are waiting and hoping that we can avoid major damage,” he said.While the Ottawa River is being monitored, the main concern is the levels in the Indian and Muskrat Rivers as they run through residential neighbourhoods within the city and threatened homes during the Easter weekend.For now however, he doesn’t feel he has a reason to declare a state of emergency for the City of Pembroke. On Friday, Whitewater Region made the declaration, joining Horton and McNab/Braeside in doing so. Other communities in Renfrew County are also monitoring water levels and preparing sandbags where necessary. A flood warning remains in effect for all of Renfrew County, which has been issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.Many roads have been closed due to flooding. For current information visit http://www.municipal511.ca.TPeplinskie@postmedia.comTwitter: @TPeplinskie ALSO IN THE NEWS:Southwest of Ottawa, Ontario’s Mississippi River turns mightyNew areas under threat as Ottawa River floodwaters to exceed record levels of 2017 As flood fatigue sets in, psychiatrist warns mental health impact can be severe