Cataraqui Conservation has updated its Water Safety Statement due to forecasted warmer temps and rainfall and is asking residents and visitors to the Cataraqui Region to exercise caution on waterbodies and near shorelines.
A period of thaw has arrived, bringing a mix of freezing rain and rain to the region today (January 24) and rain January 25 and 26 (15 – 30 mm+ total rainfall). Temperatures will remain mostly above zero °C today through January 28 (potentially as high as 5 °C on January 26), before falling back below zero. Long range forecasts suggest February may begin with another multi-day period of above average temps.
Streamflows and lake levels are expected to increase from the forecasted rainfall and warmer temperatures, and associated snowmelt, over the next five days. Ice safety concerns continue as the warmer temperatures will further weaken the ice.
Cataraqui Conservation is urging caution when considering activities on the ice, particularly around all dams (inflow and outflow channels), fast-flowing watercourses, and stormwater ponds. 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.
Cataraqui Conservation does not use ice thickness measurements for evaluating ice conditions. Due to climate variability ice formation may not be consistent and ice conditions can deteriorate quickly. Based on observations by area water managers (representatives of local private power companies, provincial and federal ministries responsible for water management) there is concern for the condition of the ice, which can vary considerably from one waterbody to the next and within a single waterbody. No ice is without some risk. Visit lifesaving.org for ice safety information.
Widespread flooding is NOT expected at this time. However, localized inundation of low-lying and poorly drained areas is possible. 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, February 7, 2024, at 11:59 PM.
For up-to-date flooding information, please visit our flood forecasting and information page at https://cataraquiconservation.ca/pages/flood