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Flood Outlook Water Safety flood message issued

The following Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook Water Safety message was issued by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 12 p.m. noon:

Number: 2019.S.1.2
Issued at: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. noon
Issued by: Davin Heinbuck, Water Resources Coordinator

Quickly rising streamflow has resulted in minor flooding and risk of ice jams. Watershed residents are reminded to stay away from creeks, rivers, other watercourses   

Warm temperatures over the last several days, combined with 5-10 millimetres (mm) of rainfall yesterday (February 4, 2019), have resulted in a rapid runoff and quickly rising streamflow. Water levels have exceeded the banks in some areas, resulting in minor flooding within the traditional low-lying flood plain areas, including some local roads.  

Monitoring of river conditions on local streams and rivers indicates that river ice has broken up or continues to break up. Minor ice jams have been observed at several locations, and as they form and shift, rapidly-increasing water levels may develop behind an ice jam. The unpredictable nature of ice jams makes it difficult to predict where and when they will form. Currently, ice jam flooding potential is highest in the lower Ausable River between Ailsa Craig and Port Franks. Ice jams have also been observed in the Bayfield River, with the potential to affect areas along the Bayfield River upstream of the Highway 21 bridge and the Bayfield Harbour area. In addition to flooding impacts, structures located in, or adjacent to, the water are vulnerable to damage from moving ice.

Municipal staff should monitor the situation and take action as required.

Flows are expected to peak on the larger rivers in the next 24 hours; however, ABCA staff are keeping an eye on the development of a rainfall event forecasted this Wednesday, February 6, 2019 and Thursday, February 7 that could result in additional flooding risks later this week and into the weekend.

Residents are reminded that, due to warmer temperatures and accompanying rainfall, all ice should be considered unsafe. In addition, please use caution near all watercourses. Slippery and unstable streambanks, streambanks hidden by drifted snow, and extremely cold water temperatures are creating additional hazards.

This message will remain in effect until 12:00 p.m. Thursday, February 7, 2019, unless otherwise updated. The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide an update if required.

Details also available at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority ABCA website.


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