Flooding Update for the Cataraqui Region and Lake Ontario

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May 15, 2017 — The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has updated its Flood Statements today for Buells/Butlers Creek in Brockville, Inland Lakes, and Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Buells/Butlers Creek – Downgraded to Normal Status

The Water Safety Statement for Buells/Butlers Creek has ended. Flows in the creek have returned to within the normal range.

Inland Lakes, Cataraqui River Watershed – Flood Warning Continues

The Flood Warning continues for the Cataraqui River Watershed. Water levels in these lakes have peaked and conditions are improving gradually. Levels are now slowly dropping, but remain extremely high.

Water managers continue to conduct operations to minimize effects and pass flows down through the system.

Specific locations where water levels are exceptionally high include:

Buck Lake, Canoe Lake, Colonel By Lake, Cranberry Lake, Devil Lake, Dog Lake, Kingsford Lake, Loughborough Lake, Newboro Lake, Opinicon Lake, Sand Lake.

Inland Lakes, Gananoque River Watershed – Downgraded to Flood Watch

The Flood Warning for the Gananoque River Watershed, Millhaven Creek Watershed and Sydenham Lake has been downgraded to a Flood Watch. Water levels are now slowly dropping, but remain high.

Specific Locations where water levels are high include:

Charleston Lake, Delta, Gananoque Lake, Graham Lake, Lyndhurst Lake, Marble Rock Road.

Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River – Flood Warning Continues

Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River remain under a Flood Warning. The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board is continuing operations and increasing outflow to minimize flooding and erosion impacts when possible.

The Board has indicated that Lake Ontario’s level is now above the highest water level recorded at any time of year since 1918 – 75.84 m as of yesterday. The previous highest water level recorded at any time was 75.82 at the beginning of June 1952.

The Board has also indicated that although they are closing the gap between inflows and outflows, water levels may continue to rise in the coming days and weeks depending on rainfall amounts.

The water level measured today at Kingston is currently 75.8 metres which is just 0.2 metres below the Lake Ontario 100-year flood elevation of 76.0 metres. The current level of the St. Lawrence River measured at Brockville is 75.6 metres. This is just 0.2 metres below the 100-year level of 75.8 metres in that area along the River.

For up-to-date Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River water levels in your area visit the following Fisheries and Oceans Canada links for Kingston and for Brockville.

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Residents in flood prone and low lying areas should anticipate further water level increases through May, and possibly into June if wet weather continues.

Flooding and erosion damage from high waves is possible during periods of strong winds.The CRCA is urging residents to pay close attention to forecasts for approaching storms with high winds from the southeast, south or southwest.

For up-to-date wind and wave forecasts visit the following links to marine forecasts for Eastern Lake Ontario and for Kingston to Cornwall.

Property owners are also reminded to turn off electricity to buildings or structures in flood prone or low lying areas and to move gasoline and other chemicals to higher ground.

Any work along shorelines (e.g. placement of fill, armour stone, etc.) will require a permit from the CRCA. Call our office or visit our website for further information.

Municipalities have been advised and are assessing the situation to determine appropriate response. They can be contacted to inquire about physical/material assistance (e.g. sand and sand bags).

For further information on Lake Ontario visit ontario.ca/flooding.

For up to date flooding information, please visit the CRCA’s flood forecasting and information page at www.crca.ca/flood.

CRCA staff will continue to monitor conditions, forecasts, and update statements as needed.

This Flood Warning/Watch will remain in effect until Friday May 19, 2017.

Watershed conditions terminology:

Watershed Conditions Statement: general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have the potential to lead to flooding.

There are two variations of these:

* Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.

* Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.

Release source: CRCA.ca
Photo: Lisa Jarvis (cc)