Let’s Keep Our Children Safe

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DATE:   May 4, 2017
TIME:    12:00 p.m.[Image]

Message sent on the basis of information received from:

* Kawartha Conservation Flood Forecasting Network
* Ministry of Natural Resources – Surface Water Monitoring Centre
* Environment Canada
* Trent-Severn Waterway


A Flood Watch is now in effect for the Kawartha Conservation watershed jurisdiction, including the shoreline areas of Balsam, Cameron, and Sturgeon lakes, and Pigeon Lake. There is potential for minor flooding to occur in areas adjacent to the watercourses, low-lying areas and along shorelines of the Kawartha Lakes within next 24-48 hours.

Following rain event earlier this week, a second large system is forecast to impact southern Ontario this week. Rain is expected to start Thursday night and continue until Saturday as the system moves slowly, bringing 50 to 70mm of rain over the next three days. Environment Canada has issued a Rainfall Warning for the region, including the Kawartha Conservation watershed.

Majority of local streams have returned to their banks after the precipitation event early this week, but still demonstrate elevated water levels and velocities. Ground conditions are currently saturated and do not have capacity to absorb additional rainfall as the next system moves in.

Water levels in large Kawartha Lakes are still high as northern tributaries, including the Burnt and Gull rivers, are bringing in high volumes of water. Trent Severn Waterway officials indicate that the upstream reservoir lakes are currently full and do not have any capacity to accommodate additional runoff.

Under these watershed conditions, forecast precipitation will generate a substantial amount of runoff, causing water levels in rivers, streams and lakes to rise again. While no major flooding is anticipated within the Kawartha Conservation watershedat this time, water accumulation will occur in low-lying areas, road ditches, and areas with poor drainage. Rivers and streams may exceed their banks in some locations and spill onto the floodplains. Water levels in lakes will continue to be elevated, potentially impacting the stability of shoreline infrastructure. River banks and lakes shorelines are saturated, and may be unstable and undercut.

In these circumstances, all local watercourses and waterbodies should be considered extremely dangerous. Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from all water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams. Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.

Municipalities are advised to monitor areas historically known for flooding and be prepared to respond to high water situations as they occur. Residents are advised to contact their municipalities should a flood threat develop. Local municipalities are first to respond to and assist with flood emergencies.

Shoreline residents are advised to take precautions to protect themselves and their property, to monitor water levels closely, and contact their local municipality should any threat of flooding develop.

Trent-Severn Waterway officials are reassessing the situation on an ongoing basis and are adjusting flows through water control structures accordingly. All major dams on Kawartha Lakes are being further adjusted to accommodate increased flows of the Burnt River and other northern tributaries.

Burnt and Gull River levels are monitored by staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). Residents along these two rivers are requested to direct any questions concerning water levels to the MNRF Minden office at 705-286-5207 or 705-457-6434 (cell), or refer to the City of Kawartha Lakes website below for additional information:   www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca/flood-information .

For assistance in the event of a flood, and to obtain sandbags, please call your municipal emergency contact (see http://kawarthaconservation.com/watershed/flood-forecasting).

This Flood Watch will be in effect until Monday, May 8th 2017.  Kawartha Conservation will continue monitoring water levels and watershed conditions and notify the public and municipalities within its watershed jurisdiction of any changes. If you are aware of or have concerns about flooding, please contact Kawartha Conservation at 705.328.2271 or 705.344.0155 after hours.

Iryna Shulyarenko                                                                         Mark Majchrowski
Hydrologist                                                                                    Chief Administrative Officer

A Flood Watch is a notice that flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities.
Municipalities, emergency services, and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare. Responses to flood events are handled by Municipal emergency services.
Flood Forecasting services for the Burnt and Gull Rivers watersheds is provided by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Minden Office (tel. 705-286-5207)