March 9, 2017 (St. Thomas) - An unusually mild winter has lessened the chances of serious flooding
this Spring and prompted Kettle Creek Conservation Authority to move out of a Level
One Low Water condition into a normal conditions.
"Usually during March Break we are monitoring ice conditions throughout the watershed
for flooding concerns," says Jennifer Dow water conservation supervisor for Kettle
Creek Conservation Authority. "In 2015 the ice thickness in Port Stanley in late
February was 14.5 inches and 85.6% of Lake Erie was covered in ice. This year is
the exact opposite."
This year, thanks to a mild winter, Port Stanley has been free of ice for some time.
Nevertheless, KCCA is issuing a watershed conditions statement ahead of March Break.
Environment Canada is forecasting cooler temperatures next week with a mix of flurries
and rain, which means a thin layer of ice may form on creeks and small water bodies.
"Water and ice are always an attraction to children," says Dow. "The issue this
Spring is that we have had a significant amount of rainfall which means creeks throughout
the watershed are moving fast and water levels will remain high."
Schools will be out for March Break next week and parents and caregivers are urged
to keep all children away from the water. "Waterways and riverbanks aren't playgrounds,"
Recent thunderstorm activity in February and the beginning of March has helped to
boost water levels and maintain base flows throughout the watershed. As a result,
water levels and flows have returned to seasonal norms, allowing for a downgrade
from Level 1Low Water Condition to normal water level condition. "We received more
rain in February than in any of the last 6 months," says Dow.
A high water event is not anticipated over the March Break, however, updates will
be made available if conditions warrant. This watershed conditions statement—water
safety will remain in effect until Monday, March 20th. For further updates log on
www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca or connect with Kettle Creek Conservation
Authority socially on Twitter
@KettleCreekCA or on Facebook at
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
- 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.