KCCA issues a watershed conditions statement: flood outlook
For immediate release
St. Thomas – Kettle Creek Conservation Authority is issuing a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook for the watershed. A significant weather system is forecast to cross the watershed over the weekend and into next week bringing 20-55 mm of rain.
“Currently, the watershed has 60-90 mm of water trapped in the snow pack,” says Jennifer Dow, water conservation supervisor for Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. “Residents surrounding Kettle Creek within the Village of Port Stanley and low lying areas in St. Thomas are most at risk. Warm temperatures forecasted throughout the long weekend will result in significant snow melt and creek flows.”
Currently, water levels throughout the watershed are normal. However, Kettle Creek in Port Stanley is ice covered which may lead to ice jamming if the ice does not melt or break up before the rain arrives. Ice jams may cause rapid backwater effects and may quickly create flooding situation. Residents along Kettle Creek are advised to carefully monitor their local conditions.
This will be the second significant thaw in 2018. An event on January 12, 2018 caused a minor ice jam in Port Stanley under similar conditions. Water quickly backed up through the system. High water levels and flows swamped adjacent lands and carried away large amounts of debris including: canoes, chairs and docks.
Residents are reminded to take precautions. Property should be moved out of low lying areas.
Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and when combined with cold, fast-flowing water pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses at this time.
This Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook will remain in effect until Thursday, February 22 and updates will be made if conditions warrant.
For more information contact:
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.