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Wednesday, 17 April 2019 13:49

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT: FLOOD OUTLOOK

A strong low pressure system is predicted to pass through southern Ontario, including the Kawartha Conservation watershed, in the next three days, bringing significant amounts of precipitation. Rain is expected to start tonight persisting into Saturday. As forecast by the Ministry of Natural Resources, total precipitation of up to 50 mm can be expected over the next three days with locally higher amounts possible due to thunderstorms.

Flood OutlookWATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK

DATE:                   April 17, 2019
TIME:                   2:00 p.m.

Message sent on the basis of information received from:

  • Kawartha Conservation Flood Forecasting Network
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Surface Water Monitoring Center
  • 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 -Kawartha Lakes that was issued Tuesday, April 16th 2019.

A strong low pressure system is predicted to pass through southern Ontario, including the Kawartha Conservation watershed, in the next three days, bringing significant amounts of precipitation. Rain is expected to start tonight persisting into Saturday. As forecast by the Ministry of Natural Resources, total precipitation of up to 50 mm can be expected over the next three days with locally higher amounts possible due to thunderstorms.

Water levels in local rivers and streams within the watershed are still slightly elevated from the past precipitation events. The ground is saturated and does not have much capacity to absorb 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 quickly, but larger watercourses will take longer to respond.

The water levels in the large Kawartha Lakes will continue to increase as a large amount of water is passing through the system toward Lake Ontario. As reported by 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 precipitation. As those rivers flow into the Kawartha Lakes, water levels of Balsam, Cameron, Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes will continue to rise.

Under current watershed conditions and expected precipitation, all local rivers, streams, and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous. Riverbanks will be slippery and unsafe, and may be undercut. 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 continue 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 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 23rd, 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.