KCCA warns warmer weather means thinner ice and faster flowing water

Kettle Creek Conservation Authority is issuing a watershed conditions statement—flood outlook for residents of the Kettle Creek Watershed, with specific concerns for the Port Stanley area. Warmer temperatures this week and forecasted rain this weekend may cause minor flooding in low lying areas and possible ice jams. Ice jams may cause rapid backwater effects and may quickly create flooding situations.

Environment Canada is forecasting a mix of rain, freezing rain and flurries this weekend. “There is still a significant amount of snow throughout the watershed that will contribute to increasing water levels as it melts,” says Jennifer Dow water conservation supervisor for Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. “Combined with rainfall it is possible that the spring thaw is finally underway.”

Residents along Kettle Creek, and residents in Port Stanley in particular, are advised to carefully monitor their local conditions. Kettle Creek Conservation Authority is reminding parents to use extreme care around all watercourses, flood plain areas and ponds. “The ice cover is unstable, banks can be very slippery and the water is fast flowing and very cold,” warns Dow. “Ice can be tricky—it can be thick and strong in one spot, while thin and weak in another and conditions change daily, sometimes hourly. Parents need to remind their children that waterways and riverbanks aren’t playgrounds,” says Dow. After a long winter children are restless to play outdoors. KCCA is urging all parents and caregivers to ensure that children do not play along local waterways.

Residents are advised to remove property from low-lying areas and to clear snow and ice from storm drains.

Updates will be made available if conditions warrant. This flood outlook will remain in effect until Monday, March 16th. 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.

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.

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