high water outflow from dam

The warmer weather and the upcoming holiday long weekend mean lots of area residents and visitors will be out and about enjoying the spring temperatures and the chance to get outdoors with family and friends.

With that in mind, Cataraqui Conservation is reminding everyone that based on the recent heavy rainfall throughout the region, and the already existing high-water levels of inland lakes, extra caution needs to be taken near lakes, rivers, streams and other waterbodies.

For this reason a Water Safety Statement was issued on April 4, and remains in effect until April 19. This past Wednesday, April 5, between 20 and 45+ millimetres of rain fell over a short period of time, which has increased stream flows and water levels on inland lakes throughout the Cataraqui Region.

Water Managers who oversee these lakes report that the levels are already significantly higher than what is usually expected for this time of year (otherwise known as being above operational rule curves.) They continue to make discharge adjustments to limit, as much as possible, the negative impacts from these increased inflows. Even with this mitigation, inland lakes will continue to rise for several days.

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.

Widespread flooding is NOT expected at this time. However, localized inundation of low-lying and poorly drained areas, and roadway ponding, can be expected. 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, April 19, 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.