The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has issued a Watershed Conditions – Water Safety Statement today.
Current forecasts are saying 70 to 90 mm of total precipitation could fall in the region from Thursday, April 12 through Monday, April 16.
Although there is some uncertainty as to amounts and types of precipitation over this period of time, Environment Canada has issued an alert for areas in the Cataraqui Region warning of a potential ice storm on Saturday and Sunday. Ice accumulation could exceed 20 mm.
Localized ponding and flooding of low-lying areas could occur although widespread general flooding is NOT predicted. The anticipated precipitation could increase water levels and flow rates in creeks and inland lakes, which are currently at or just above average levels for the time of year. In urban areas, catch basins and storm drains may be covered with debris or ice accumulation from the ice storm, and should be cleared to reduce urban ponding.
In preparation for the predicted weather, water managers have been increasing flows through dams to add storage capacity in the water systems. Dam operations are on-going and will continue through the week, resulting in increased flows downstream of the structures.
CRCA is urging residents to exercise caution around lakes and streams, stay off any remaining ice, and to stay away from unstable or slippery creek banks and shorelines, as well as any dams and outflow channels.
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.
Winds from the south-southwest are also in the forecast for Thursday, April 12. This could moderately increase water levels along the Lake Ontario shoreline, along with wave action and the risk of shoreline erosion.
CRCA staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts, and will update statements as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until Friday, April 20, 2018.