Water Safety Statement Extended for Inland Lakes & Streams

Jan. 11, 2023 - Cataraqui Conservation has extended the current Water Safety Statement due to elevated flows and water levels and the forecast for more rain.

Weather Situation: Weather forecasts are calling for rain January 12 and 13. The total amount is uncertain, but forecasts suggest a range of between 25 – 40 mm+, the bulk of which falling during the afternoon/evening of January 12 and morning of January 13.

Risks: Elevated runoff from the forecast rain can be expected due to bare, frozen ground conditions.

Streams remain above average and lake levels are very high for this time of year, following recent snowmelt and rainfall events. Some lakes are already higher than springtime levels. The forecast rain may cause streams to reach springtime levels again, similar to those seen earlier this month. Some streams might see even higher levels if the higher rainfall amounts materialize. Lake levels are expected to increase further and remain high for weeks.

Flows through water control structures remain high as Water Managers pass water through dams to balance water levels and mitigate, as much as possible, negative impacts.

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 further 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 and where storm drains and catch basins are blocked by ice and snow or debris.

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 18, 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.