Significant Rainfall Expected, Flood Outlook Issued for Region

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The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has issued this ‘Water Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook’ earlier today:

Over the next 48 hours, the forecast is calling for a significant amount of rainfall (20-45 mm) throughout the Cataraqui Region.

This rainfall, paired with high winds of up to 100 km/h could cause localized flooding in low lying areas as well as increased wave action and possible erosion to the shoreline of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River.

Water levels and flows on inland lakes and streams are near average for this time of year. However, high levels of precipitation could affect water levels significantly due to the ground still being frozen.

Creeks in urban areas will rise more quickly due to increased runoff over paved surfaces, ponding and water over roadways may occur in some areas. Debris covering catchbasins should be cleared to help with drainage.

Ice conditions in the Cataraqui Region are extremely unsafe. CRCA staff is urging residents to stay away from fast flowing watercourses, dams, outflow channels, to exercise caution around lakes and creeks, and stay off the thinning ice. Creek banks and lake shorelines may be slippery, increasing the chance of falling in.

CRCA does not measure ice thickness for advising the public about ice conditions for recreational activities. Ice conditions can vary considerably from one waterbody to the next and within a single waterbody. CRCA staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts, and will update statements as needed.

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This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Note: A watershed conditions statement is NOT a flood warning. Its purpose is to raise public awareness about a change or potential change in watershed conditions.

See below for 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.

Photo: Rubberdragon on Flickr (cc)
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