March 04, 2022 – Cataraqui Conservation has updated the current Water Safety Statement due to the forecast of above zero temperatures and additional rainfall on Sunday, March 6.
Above zero air temperatures predicted for March 6 may exceed 10 degrees Celsius before falling back below zero overnight. The precipitation forecast is uncertain, predicting up to 15 mm of rainfall on March 6.
Lake levels are above average following recent rainfall events. Flows are high, especially through water control structures as Water Managers try to lower water levels ahead of the spring melt (freshet), which is expected to be significant given the existing snowpack containing more than twice the normal water equivalent. The ground remains frozen and there is a dense ice/snow layer at the ground surface in many areas, further enhancing runoff potential and the likelihood of a problematic spring freshet this year.
Flows are being managed to mitigate, as much as possible, negative impacts from the expected rainfall and warmup. The rainfall and snow melt on March 6 will increase water levels further and contribute to deteriorating ice conditions on area lakes over the coming days and weeks.
Water levels on inland lakes and streams may rise for several days from the forecasted rainfall, and flows could remain high for weeks. Ice jam and culvert obstruction potential remains.
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 and snow melt 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. 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 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.