Colorado low prompts Flood Outlook
For Immediate Release
St. Thomas – A Colorado low is forecast to move into southwestern Ontario Saturday. The system is bringing with it a lot of rain and strong easterly winds prompting the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority to issue a watershed conditions statement—flood outlook.
The forecast calls for 30-35 mm of rain from Windsor and Sarnia to Guelph and the north shore of Lake Erie. Thunderstorm activity could boost accumulation and additional 5-10 mm across the region.
“Currently water levels throughout the watershed are higher than normal. If the watershed receives the amount of rain forecasted over a short period of time, there is a good chance that we could see nuisance flooding in low lying areas” says Jennifer Dow water conservation supervisor for Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. “With current wet soil or frozen ground conditions, the forecast rain is expected to melt any remaining snow. This combination of rain, melt and elevated water levels may create a higher than normal runoff event.”
This potentially enhanced runoff response could cause flows in local creeks and stream to change rapidly and result in flooding in low lying areas.
Winds on Lake Erie are expected to come from the east at 25 to 35 km/h with gusts up to 60 km/h possible early Saturday morning. While sustained winds and gusts can cause storm surge and shoreline flooding in Port Stanley, based on current weather conditions KCCA does not anticipate any significant flood uprush activity. “Port Stanley appears to be better protected from the winds that funnel down Lake Erie causing trouble to the east and west,” says Dow. KCCA uses a variety of tools such as lake level recorders, marine forecasts and lakeshore flooding look-up tables based on wind speed, direction and wave modelling to determine storm surge potential. “Even though Lake Erie water levels continue to be higher than normal the methodology KCCA uses to collect data and calculate flood uprush potential is still reliable”.
Residents are encouraged to exercise caution near ditches, streams, creeks and reservoirs. The combination of slippery banks and fast flowing water is very dangerous. Parents in particular are urged to keep their children away from waterways and flood prone areas during times of high flow. Residents are also encouraged to monitor their local conditions and take appropriate action.
KCCA will closely monitor local conditions and will provide any updates warranted. This Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook will remain in effect until Monday, December 3. For further updates log on to www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca or connect with Kettle Creek Conservation Authority socially on Twitter @KettleCreekCA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KettleCreekCa.
Public Relations Supervisor
The Kettle Creek Conservation Authority issues three levels of messages:
- Watershed Conditions Statement: a general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have the potential to lead to flooding. There are two variations of these:
- Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors 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 watercourses 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.