For immediate release
St. Thomas –Kettle Creek Conservation Authority is issuing a Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook, reminding residents to take extra caution near creeks and streams due to the potential for flooding conditions as temperatures rise over the next couple of days coupled with forecasted rain.
Environment Canada is tracking a low pressure system that is expected to move into the area on Friday and Saturday, bringing warmer temperatures and accumulated precipitation amounts from 25-40mm. At this time, the track of the low-pressure system is uncertain, and as such precipitation type, timing and amounts may change.
“There is still some uncertainty regarding how this weather system will affect the watershed,” cautions Jennifer Dow, Water Resources Supervisor for Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. “Areas of the watershed that have maintained accumulated snowpack may see most of the forecast precipitation absorbed and retained in the snowpack. However, increased runoff, which can lead to elevated creek levels and flows can be expected in watershed areas where the snow has melted.” Water levels and stream flows throughout the watershed are currently lower than normal, however heavy rain could cause local creeks and streams to rise quickly in response to the runoff.
No major flooding is expected at this time. However, some 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 have a heightened risk for flash and minor localized flooding.
“Residents can prepare for this rain event by making sure their storm drains are clear of snow, ice, leaves and debris, and by paying attention to their local conditions,” cautions Dow. “It is also a good reminder for residents to prepare by removing valuables out of the flood plain and ensuring boats are properly secured in advance of the forecast. This includes items like docks, watercraft, trailers, and vehicles.”
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 riverbanks, 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. In addition, residents are urged to stay off frozen creeks, lakes and reservoirs throughout the watershed. Conditions are unsafe for on-ice activities such as skating and ice fishing at this time.
KCCA staff will continue to monitor conditions and provide updates as warranted. This Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook will remain in effect until Sunday, January 1, 2023 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.