The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has issued a Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety for the Kingston region.
With temperatures warming up this week, area residents are urged to stay clear of any ice-covered surfaces, open waterways, ponds, lakes and ditches.
The forecast warmer weather is expected to lead to snow and ice melting, meaning creeks will begin to rise and flows will increase, particularly during the day. The possibility of rain later in the week could speed up the melt, and increase water levels and flows. Increased flows may lead to ice breakup, and the potential for ice jams at constrictions in creeks such as bridges and culverts.
Widespread flooding is NOT expected as a result of the forecast. The higher creek levels may cause flooding of low lying areas.
Stream and river banks will be slippery, water currents will get stronger, and the water itself will remain dangerously cold. The CRCA is urging residents to exercise extra caution outdoors around lakes and streams, and to stay off of the thinning ice cover and away from the cold, deep, fast flowing watercourses, and dams.
The dangers of drowning and hypothermia are heightened at this time of year because of the unpredictability of water flows, ice thickness and near-freezing temperatures.
This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until March 11, 2016.