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Area water managers have asked Cataraqui Conservation to issue a Water Safety Statement due to reported unsafe ice conditions and is asking residents and visitors to the Cataraqui Region to exercise caution on waterbodies and near shorelines.

Weather Situation: The current below-average temperatures are forecast to give way to warmer temperatures in the coming days and hover around the zero-degree °C mark through next week.

Risks: Flows and water levels are higher than normal for this time of year due to recent heavy rainfall, and temperatures have not been consistently cold enough for long enough to produce safe ice conditions on many waterbodies.

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 ice conditions 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, water level fluctuations on watercourses susceptible to ice jams from frazil ice generation (e.g., Millhaven Creek) during periods of extremely cold temperatures (below -18 °C) has the potential to produce localized inundation of low-lying areas. 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 31, 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