January 8, 2024
For immediate release
KCCA issues a Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook.
St. Thomas – Kettle Creek Conservation Authority is issuing a Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook and reminding residents to take extra caution near creeks and streams due to significant rainfall forecast and the potential for ponding in low-lying areas.
Environment Canada is tracking a widespread Texas low-pressure system that is developing south of the border and making its way into the region bringing a wintery mix of snow, widespread heavy rains, blustery winds, and the potential for ice pellets and freezing rain. As the system moves into Southern Ontario early Tuesday, it will bring between 5-15cm of heavy, wet snow before transitioning to rain. The watershed may receive between 20-35mm of rain as the low moves through the region and across the province through Wednesday. Rain is forecast to be heavy at times. Precipitation, lack of snow cover and wet ground conditions may result in higher-than-normal water levels/flows as well as localized nuisance flooding in low-lying areas. At this time, the track of the low-pressure system is uncertain, and as such precipitation type, timing and amounts may change.
“Currently water levels throughout the watershed have dropped back down to seasonal norms and the watershed is relatively snow-free,” says Jennifer Dow, Water Resources Supervisor for Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. “However, elevated runoff and saturated ground conditions could result in increased water levels and flows in local creeks and streams.”
No major flooding is expected at this time. However, some smaller watercourses may reach or exceed their banks, leading to localized flooding in floodplains, ponding in low lying areas and agricultural fields, and locations with poor drainage. Watershed areas that receive prolonged heavy rain on top of accumulated snow have a heightened risk for flash and minor localized flooding.
Kettle Creek Conservation Authority is reminding parents to use extreme caution around all watercourses, flood plain areas, reservoirs, and ponds. “The banks can be very slippery, and the water is fast flowing and very cold,” warns Dow.
The Texas low is forecasted to also bring sustained 50-60km/hr southwesterly winds through Wednesday. While Lake Erie is currently ice-free, the forecasted conditions are not conducive at this time to storm surge.
Residents along Kettle Creek and the Lake Erie shoreline are advised to monitor their local conditions as conditions can change quickly with little warning. It is also recommended to remove property from low-lying areas and to clear any debris from storm drains.
Updates will be made available if conditions warrant. This Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook will remain in effect until noon on Sunday, January 14, 2024. 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 .
Water Conservation Supervisor