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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  News KCCA issues watershed conditions report ahead of March Break

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Luiza Moczarski, Kettle Creek Conservation Authority
KCCA issues watershed conditions report ahead of March Break

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," says Dow.

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 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.
Last Updated: Thursday, 09 March 2017 11:08:35 AM EST

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