Cataraqui Conservation has issued a Watershed Conditions Statement today due to a strong storm system that is forecast to bring above zero temperatures and rainfall to the region Wednesday, Feb. 16 and Thursday, Feb. 17.
Rain is predicted to begin late in the day Feb. 16 and continue through Feb. 17. Forecasted rainfall totals are uncertain, ranging from 30 – 50 mm+. The air temperature is also expected to rise above zero Feb. 16 and fall back below zero by the end of the day Feb. 17.
The flow rate in many creeks is below average for this time of year. However, runoff from the forecasted rainfall will cause creek flows and levels to rise, possibly causing ice breakup, which increases the risk of ice jams and culvert obstructions, potentially leading to localized inundation of low-lying areas.
Water Managers, who operate dams on area inland lakes, are increasing outflows through water control structures to keep water levels within targets for this time of year. Water levels on inland lakes and streams may rise for several days from the forecasted rainfall.
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.
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, localized inundation of low-lying areas is possible, especially with the higher rainfall amounts. 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, Wednesday February 23, 2022, 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.