Kingston – Cataraqui Conservation has extended the current Water Safety Statement due to above zero temperatures and forecast for additional rainfall on Tuesday, February 22.
Above zero air temperatures are predicted Feb 21 and Feb 22 before falling below zero Feb 23. Some forecasts are calling for temperatures as high as 9 degrees C on Feb 22. The precipitation forecast is uncertain, predicting as much as 15 – 25 mm+ rainfall on Feb 22.
Creek flows are high for this time of year, following the February 17 rainfall event. The ground remains frozen, and an above average snowpack exists. Runoff from the forecasted rainfall, combined with snowmelt, will cause creek flows and levels to rise further. Localized inundation of low-lying areas is possible and ice jam and culvert obstruction potential remains.
Water Managers, who operate dams on area inland lakes, are increasing already high flows through water control structures to try to keep water levels within targets for this time of year, ahead of the spring freshet. Flows are being managed to mitigate, as much as possible, the impacts from the expected rainfall and snowmelt.
Water levels on inland lakes and streams may rise for several days from the forecasted rainfall and flows could remain above average for weeks.
The current flow conditions, warmer temperatures and rainfall can negatively affect ice conditions. 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 waterbody.
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, March 9, 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.