KCCA issues a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook for Significant Rain Forecast for the Region
For immediate release
St. Thomas – Environment Canada is monitoring the remnants of Hurricane Pamela that is expected to travel along a frontal boundary that is developing over southwestern Ontario. These two weather systems are forecast to bring widespread rainfall with the potential for embedded thunderstorms to the region. “The main concern is the potential of 50+ mm of rain falling this weekend on an already saturated and soggy watershed,” says Jennifer Dow, water conservation supervisor for the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. “Compared to the rain events we’ve experienced since mid-September, this one should be minor, however, it is a good reminder to move valuables out of the flood plain and make sure boats are properly secured in advance of the forecast.”
Rainfall from the frontal boundary is expected to begin Thursday evening, starting in the southwest and progressing northwesterly with expected precipitation accumulations of 10-20 mm. The remnants of Hurricane Pamela will track across the central U.S. reaching the Great Lakes region on Friday. Widespread precipitation amounts of 20-40 mm are expected with the potential for heavier amounts of 30-50+ mm locally due to thunderstorm activity. The weather systems are forecast to move out of the region Saturday evening.
“There is still some uncertainty regarding how these weather systems will affect the area,” cautions Dow. “Rain is expected to be heavy at times and amounts may vary between locations, particularly those experiencing thunderstorm activity. Ground conditions remain super saturated from all of the rain that we’ve received over the last few weeks which could cause local creeks and streams to rise quickly in response to the runoff.”
Watershed areas that receive more than 50 mm of rain have a heightened risk for flash and localized flooding. In addition, intense rainfall has the potential to cause overland flow and scouring of fields, ponding in low-lying areas, roadways and agricultural fields, and minor flooding into natural floodplain areas and parks that traditionally flood in the spring. “Residents can prepare for this rain event by making sure their storm drains are clear of leaves and debris, and by paying attention to their local conditions,” cautions Dow.
In addition to the forecasted rain, strong southwesterly winds are expected late Friday into Saturday. Sustained wind speeds may reach up to 50 km/hr with the potential for stronger wind gusts during thunderstorms. Port Stanley is especially vulnerable to winds over 50km/hr from the south, which means there remains a risk for flooding and erosion along the shoreline. Storm surge can cause shoreline erosion, and damage to shoreline structures due to damaging waves and localized flooding.
Residents along Kettle Creek, are advised to carefully monitor their local conditions and take appropriate action should conditions change. KCCA is reminding parents to keep children and pets away from creeks and river banks, flood plain areas and ponds. Banks can be very slippery and unstable, and creeks can be fast flowing. Standing water can also present unseen hazards. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from all waterways.
KCCA staff will continue to monitor conditions and provide updates as warranted. This Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook will remain in effect until Sunday, October 17 at 4:30PM. For further updates, log on to www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca or connect with Kettle Creek Conservation Authority socially on Facebook and Twitter @KettleCreekCA.
Water Conservation Supervisor
The Kettle Creek Conservation Authority issues three levels of messages:
- Watershed Conditions Statement (Previously High Water Safety Bulletin): 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 (Previously Flood Advisory): Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
- Flood Warning (No change): 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.