The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has issued a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook today.
The CRCA watersheds received as much as 60 mm of rain on Thursday. Combined with close to 50 mm on Monday and Tuesday, that is upwards of 100 mm over the watersheds in the last few days, equal to a month’s worth of rainfall in just a few days.
The heaviest rainfall appeared to be concentrated in the City of Kingston, and the Town of Gananoque. To the west, east, and north of these areas, substantially less rain fell yesterday (in the 30-40 mm range).
Area streams have risen considerably from that rainfall. Urban streams peaked late on Thursday, and have been falling since then. The larger rural streams have slowed their rise, and are expected to peak late today, or tomorrow. Some streams are getting close to the elevations seen in 2014.
Area lakes have also been rising steadily. Some lakes have risen over 125 mm (5 inches) since yesterday. Water control structure managers have been proactively operating structures and moving water to prepare for the runoff, and the expected rainfall, to minimize the potential for flooding. At this point, most of the lakes are full, and are expected to continue to slowly rise for a few days. Shoreline flooding is expected.
There is minimal rain in the forecast for the next few days, and that should allow things to stabilize.
Widespread flooding is NOT expected as a result of current conditions. Watershed Managers will continue to monitor conditions, and forecasts, and update statements as needed. The removal of items stored in the floodplains of area watercourses and lakes is recommended.
Some specific locations where the water levels are exceptionally high include:
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- Sydenham Lake
- Collins Creek – Burbrook Road between Hwy 38 and Jackson Mills Road
- Loughborough Lake
- Cranberry Lake
- Gananoque River – the reach between Marble Rock Dam and Gananoque Dam
- Gananoque Lake
- Charleston Lake
- Black Creek/Wiltse Creek – Russell Road between the bridges over these creeks
A reminder to everyone that stream and river banks are slippery, water currents are strong, and the water itself remains dangerously cold. The CRCA urges 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, as well as any 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 Flood Watch Statement will remain in effect until Wednesday April 12, 2017.
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.
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.