KCCA Issues a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook for Significant Rain Forecast for the Region
For immediate release
St. Thomas – Environment Canada is monitoring two low-pressure weather systems moving into the province from the mid-west bringing widespread significant rainfall starting Tuesday evening. Rainfall will pick up in intensity Tuesday overnight and will persist through Wednesday, offering no chance to dry out before the next system moves in early Thursday morning. Cumulative 48 hour rainfall totals for the area could reach 50-100+ mm, with additional rain accumulation possible from thunderstorm activity.
“There is still some uncertainty regarding how this weather system will affect the area” says Jennifer Dow, water conservation supervisor for the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. “Rain is expected to be heavy at times and amounts may vary between locations, particularly those experiencing thunderstorm activity,” says Dow. There is the potential for some areas to see more than 100 mm of rainfall due to embedded thunderstorms, heightening the risk for flash and localized flooding where the heaviest rain occurs. “Watershed residents should be prepared and pay attention to local conditions,” cautions Dow.
High intensity rainfall over the next 48 hours has the potential to exceed drainage basin infiltration rates which can lead to urban flooding of roads. Intense rainfall may also lead to overland flow and scouring of fields, ponding in low-lying areas and agricultural fields, and minor flooding into natural floodplain areas and parks that traditionally flood in the spring. Residents may experience a sharp rise in riverine water levels due to the high intensity and short duration of this event.
“Residents can prepare for this rain event by making sure their storm drains are clear of leaves and debris and by moving valuables out of the flood plain,” says Dow. “Motorists should exercise caution as water pooling on roads should be expected.”
In addition to the forecasted rain, strong southerly winds are expected Tuesday, diminishing overnight into Wednesday. Sustained wind speeds may reach up to 50 km/hr with the potential for stronger wind gusts during thunderstorms. Environment Canada’s Marine Forecast has issued a Gale Warning for Western Lake Erie. “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 Friday, September 24 at 4:30 p.m. 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.