KAWARTHA LAKES-Kawartha Conservation has issued a Watershed Conditions Statement which is in effect from March 16 to March 19.
A strong low-pressure system moving into Ontario during the overnight hours Thursday, March 16 is expected to bring warming temperatures and the potential for significant precipitation.
A Watershed Conditions Statement for Water Safety is in effect. Widespread flooding is not anticipated, however, water levels and flows in watercourses across the Kawartha Conservation watershed jurisdiction remain higher than normal for this time of year. Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety is a general notice that existing or potential conditions pose a risk to personal safety. Watershed Conditions Statements – Water Safety may be issued when streams are flowing at or near bank full levels, when ice conditions are unsafe, or when streambanks are icy, soft and/or slippery.
Kawartha Conservation says that the Surface Water Monitoring Centre of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is tracking a strong low-pressure system moving into Ontario tonight (Thursday, March 16) and slowly moving across the province for the next two days. The system will bring warmer air and significant amounts of precipitation. Air temperatures in Southern Ontario are expected to stay above the freezing mark overnight, reaching 7 to 10 C on Friday. Total precipitation accumulation amounts for the duration of the storm are forecast to reach 20-30mm in Southern Region, with the bulk of the rain occurring on Friday.
A considerable snowpack still exists in the Kawartha Watershed according to officials. This snowpack combined with warmer temperatures, will cause increased runoff from precipitation and snow melt, therefore, watercourses can be dangerous, and Kawartha Conservation is warning residents to stay a safe distance from all streams and rivers, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams, and that ice conditions, particularly in areas of moving water, may be unsafe due to the warming temperatures. Riverbanks can be slippery, especially during rain events with snow and ice already on the ground, children should be warned of the dangerous conditions, and supervised while outside.
Kawartha Conservation says it will continue monitoring local watercourses and notify the public and municipalities within its watershed jurisdiction of any changes.
If you are aware of or have concerns about flooding, please contact Kawartha Conservation at 705-328-2271 or 705-344-0155 after hours.