KCCA Warns Caution Around Water as Temperatures Rise
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.
“Currently water levels throughout the watershed are normal. Flooding isn’t anticipated at this time, but conditions can change quickly,” says Jennifer Dow, Water Conservation Supervisor for the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. Field observations taken along Kettle Creek down to Port Stanley indicate areas of open water around bridges and culverts, with areas of thick ice cover in slower moving segments of the creek. In Port Stanley, there is approximately 17 inches of ice cover between Southwold Wall and the lift bridge. Downstream of the lift bridge, the main channel is mostly open out to Lake Erie.
Despite segments of open water, the potential for ice jam related flooding still exists. Environment Canada is forecasting warmer temperatures this week and next week with the occasional shower or flurry. The existing snowpack water equivalency is estimated to be between 60-80 mm. The extensive snow cover throughout the watershed has the ability to absorb some of the forecast precipitation, however frozen ground conditions could contribute to increased runoff, further increasing water levels in local creeks and streams.
“Fast moving water and breaking ice can be an attraction to the public. However, be aware that banks are extremely slippery and the water is very cold at this time of year,” says Dow. Parents and guardians are urged to keep children away from ponds and reservoirs. Ice conditions on frozen water bodies are unpredictable and unsafe at this time of year.
Residents along Kettle Creek are advised to monitor their local conditions. Property owners are reminded to remove property from low-lying areas and to clear snow and ice from storm drains. “Once the thaw is underway, it is important that the melt water has somewhere to go,” says Dow.
A high water event is not anticipated at this time, however, there is the potential that water levels may rise above the seasonal average and may continue to remain higher during this forecasted period. Updates will be made available if conditions warrant. This watershed conditions statement—flood outlook will remain in effect until March 31, 2021. 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
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.