KCCA advises watershed residents to exercise caution around local waterways
For immediate release
St. Thomas – A Colorado low is making its way through Southern Ontario today, bringing with it warmer temperatures and mixed precipitation, prompting the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority to issue a watershed conditions statement—water safety.
The forecast calls for 15-25 mm of rain by Wednesday evening. Strong southwesterly winds gusting to nearly 70 km/hour are expected later in the day. Colder air will return tonight, bringing the short-lived January thaw to an end.
“Currently water levels throughout the watershed are normal” says Jennifer Dow, water conservation supervisor for the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. Field observations taken along Kettle Creek down to Port Stanley indicated good ice cover with some open water in fast flowing areas. Kettle Creek in Port Stanley has about 4.5” (11.4cm) of ice, however the ice is broken up in the outer harbour and recent fishing boat traffic has broken a path to the lift bridge. “While no major flooding is expected, the forecast rain and snow melt could cause an enhanced runoff event resulting in ponding in low lying areas” says Dow.
“Flows at this time of year can be fast, strong and very cold” says Dow. Residents are advised to stay away from drainage ditches, culverts, streams, creeks, retention ponds, and reservoirs. Residents are urged to exercise caution near open water courses as slippery banks and fast-flowing water is very dangerous. Ice may become unstable and is no longer thick enough to support recreational sports. Parents in particular are encouraged to keep their children away from local waterways and flood plain areas. 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—Water Safety will remain in effect until Thursday, January 24. 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