Dec. 21, 2022
Cataraqui Conservation has issued a Water Safety Statement due to a significant winter storm forecast to pass through the region in the coming days.
The storm system is expected to bring rain and snow to the region December 22 – 24. Total amounts and form of precipitation is uncertain, but forecasts are calling for rainfall amounts of 30 - 45 mm+ over an 18 to 24-hour period December 22 – 23.
With the existing frozen ground conditions, high runoff into lakes and streams is expected, especially where there is minimal snowpack to absorb rainfall. Inland lake levels and stream flows may rise for several days and could remain elevated for weeks.
Flows through water control structures will be high as Water Managers increase discharge through dams to mitigate, as much as possible, the negative impacts from the expected inflows.
Cataraqui Conservation is urging caution around all dams (inflow and outflow channels) and fast-flowing watercourses. Respect the hazards in these areas by obeying all warning signs, and keep away from booms, buoys, and barriers. Stay well back from the water’s edge above and below dams and hydroelectric stations. Creek banks and lake shorelines may be slippery, increasing the chance of falling in.
A deterioration of ice conditions is also expected. Cataraqui Conservation 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 water body.
The forecasted rainfall may also cause roadway ponding, which may be especially problematic in urban areas where storm drains and catchbasins are blocked by ice and snow.
Widespread flooding is NOT expected at this time. However, some localized inundation of low-lying areas may occur. If you witness flooding and/or require assistance your first point of contact is the local municipality.
Staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts and will update statements as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at 11:59 PM.
For up-to-date flooding information, please visit our flood forecasting and information page at https://cataraquiconservation.ca/pages/flood
See below for watershed conditions terminology:
Normal: No flood conditions exist
Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that 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