St. Thomas – A Colorado low is making its way through Southern Ontario today, bringing
with it warmer temperatures and mixed precipitation, prompting the Kettle Creek
Conservation Authority to issue a watershed conditions statement-water safety.
The forecast calls for 15-25 mm of rain by Wednesday evening. Strong southwesterly
winds gusting to nearly 70 km/hour are expected later in the day. Colder air will
return tonight, bringing the short-lived January thaw to an end.
"Currently water levels throughout the watershed are normal" says Jennifer Dow,
water conservation supervisor for the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. Field
observations taken along Kettle Creek down to Port Stanley indicated good ice cover
with some open water in fast flowing areas. Kettle Creek in Port Stanley has about
4.5" (11.4cm) of ice, however the ice is broken up in the outer harbour and recent
fishing boat traffic has broken a path to the lift bridge. "While no major flooding
is expected, the forecast rain and snow melt could cause an enhanced runoff event
resulting in ponding in low lying areas" says Dow.
"Flows at this time of year can be fast, strong and very cold" says Dow. Residents
are advised to stay away from drainage ditches, culverts, streams, creeks, retention
ponds, and reservoirs. Residents are urged to exercise caution near open water courses
as slippery banks and fast-flowing water is very dangerous. Ice may become unstable
and is no longer thick enough to support recreational sports. Parents in particular
are encouraged to keep their children away from local waterways and flood plain
areas. Residents are also encouraged to monitor their local conditions and take
KCCA will closely monitor local conditions and will provide any updates warranted.
This Watershed Conditions Statement-Water Safety will remain in effect until Thursday,
January 24. 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: 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
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities,
emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
- Flood Warning: 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