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Friday, 12 April 2019 15:18

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK

A WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT - FLOOD OUTLOOK is now in effect for the entire jurisdiction of the Kawartha Conservation watershed. This message replaces Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety that was issued Thursday, April 11th 2019.

Flood OutlookDATE:                   April 12, 2019
TIME:                   3:00 p.m.

Message sent on the basis of information received from:
•    Kawartha Conservation Flood Forecasting Network
•    Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
•    Environment Canada
•    Trent-Severn Waterway

A WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT - FLOOD OUTLOOK is now in effect for the entire jurisdiction of the Kawartha Conservation watershed. This message replaces Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety that was issued Thursday, April 11th 2019.

A low pressure system is currently passing through southern Ontario, including Kawartha Conservation Watershed, bringing about 5 mm of rain. Another strong low pressure system is expected to move quickly through the region on Sunday and overnight into Monday, bringing additional 35 – 40 mm of rain.

Water levels in local rivers and streams within the watershed are slightly elevated from ongoing spring snow melt and past precipitation events. The ground is saturated or still partly frozen and does not have much capacity to adsorb additional precipitation. Therefore, the forecast precipitation is expected to produce significant runoff.  

As a result, water levels and velocities in local watercourses will increase. Water accumulation may occur in low-lying areas, road ditches, and areas with poor drainage. Rivers and streams may reach or overflow in some locations, their banks. Smaller steams will react fast, but larger watercourses will take longer to respond.

The water levels in the large Kawartha Lakes will continue rising due to higher inflows from northern tributaries such as the Burnt and Gull rivers. As reported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Trent-Severn Waterway, flow in the northern tributaries will keep increasing as a result of intensified runoff from the snowmelt and upcoming precipitation. As those rivers flow into the Kawartha Lakes, water levels of Balsam, Cameron, Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes will continue rising. The daily rate of water level rise is expected to increase, compared to recent conditions.  

Under expected watershed conditions, all local rivers, streams, and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous. Riverbanks will be slippery and unsafe; any remaining ice cover is unstable and hazardous. Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams. Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.

Municipalities are advised to monitor areas known for minor flooding and be prepared to respond to high water situations as they occur. Residents are advised to contact their municipalities should a flood threat develop. Local municipalities are first to respond to and assist with flood emergencies.

Trent-Severn Waterway officials are monitoring water levels and flows throughout the system very closely and make adjustments to the water control structures as required. Additional information from the TSW is available at the Water Management InfoNet web page https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/info/infonet .

Water levels of northern tributaries such as the Gull and Burnt rivers continuing increasing. For additional information on Gull and Burnt River conditions please refer to the messages issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) at https://www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program  or contact the Minden Area office at 705-286-5207.

Kawartha Conservation will continue monitoring local watercourses and notify the public and municipalities within its watershed jurisdiction of any changes. We are in close communication with partner agencies such as the Trent Severn Waterway, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and neighbouring Conservation Authorities on this upcoming situation.

If you are aware of or have concerns about flooding, please contact Kawartha Conservation at 705.328.2271 or 705.344.0155 after hours.

This Watershed Conditions Statement-Flood Outlook will be in effect through Tuesday, April 16th, 2018.

Iryna Shulyarenko                                                                         Emma Collyer
Hydrologist                                                                                   Director, Integrated Watershed Management

Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook is an early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2019 15:22