Otonabee Conservation and Kawartha Conservation have both issued flood warnings for their respective watersheds, which encompass Peterborough and Peterborough County, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and portions of Hastings and Northumberland.
Details of each flood warning are provided below.
Otonabee Conservation – Flood Warning
Otonabee Conservation has issued a Flood Warning for the entire watershed region.
A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or is occurring.
Total amounts of rainfall received from Friday (April 13) through to early Saturday (April 14) ranged from 28 mm to 35 mm. As a result, water levels and flows in local rivers and streams increased, some to near bankfull conditions. In addition, Saturday’s forecast is for the freezing rain, ice pellets and snow to continue this afternoon and overnight. As temperatures rise through the day on Sunday (April 15) the freezing rain will change to rain with forecasted amounts of 40 mm to 50 mm. The rain will continue Monday with an additional 10 mm to 20 mm.
Ouse River, Indian River, and tributaries of the Kawartha Lakes and the Otonabee River
Throughout the watershed region, the ground is saturated, and incapable of absorbing additional rainfall. As a result, the forecasted rainfall of 50 mm to 70 mm from Sunday (April 15) and Monday (April 16) is expected to cause significant pooling or ponding of water in low-lying areas where there is poor drainage. In addition, local rivers (Ouse River, Indian River), streams and creeks (Squirrel, Baxter, Cavan, Jackson, Meade, Rays, etc.) which are already flowing at rates well above normal, will continue to experience very high flows, and may even exceed their banks.
Hence, area businesses and residents located in historical flood vulnerable areas are advised to prepare for localized minor flooding caused by forecasted rainfall, saturated/frozen ground and poor drainage conditions.
Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River (to Hastings)
As a result of rains received earlier in the week, inflows to the Kawartha Lakes from areas to the north have dramatically increased. Accordingly, outflows from the Kawartha Lakes through the Otonabee River have also increased from 180 cubic meters per second (cms) seen just a few days ago to today’s flows of 250 cms. In turn, this is causing a rise in Rice Lake and Trent River water levels/flows as well. Given the forecast for additional significant rains on Sunday (April 15) and Monday (April 16), inflows to the Kawartha Lakes are expected to continue increasing throughout the coming days. Likewise, flows/levels on the Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River will also increase.
Hence, residents living in historical flood vulnerable areas on the shores of the Kawartha Lakes, the Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River (to Hastings) are advised to prepare for localized flooding that is expected to occur in the coming days as water levels/flows along the Trent-Severn Waterway continue to increase.
Otonabee Conservation will continue to monitor current conditions and issue updates as required. This Flood Warning will be updated no later than 3 p.m., Monday, April 16, 2018. For updates, visit www.otonabeeconservation.com
Kawartha Conservation – Flood Warning
A Flood Warning is now in effect for the Kawartha Conservation watershed jurisdiction.
A nasty weather pattern persists over the southern Ontario, including the Kawartha Conservation watershed. Precipitation gauges around the watershed have recorded up to 45 mm of rain since Friday morning. In addition, a substantial amount of ice, ice pellets and snow has accumulated on the ground. More ice pellets and freezing rain is forecast for today. As air temperature increases above 0°C overnight, precipitation will become liquid (rain). It is predicted that rain, sometimes heavy, will extend into Monday. A Rainfall Warning has been issued by Environment Canada for an area that includes the Kawartha Conservation watershed.
Water levels and flows in local rivers and streams within the watershed have increased significantly in response to the rain received over the last 2 days. The additional rain that is predicted, in combination with saturated or partly frozen ground conditions, will produce significant runoff that will further affect local watercourses. As the temperature warms, melting ice/snow cover will add to the amount of the runoff.
In these circumstances water levels and flows in local rivers and streams will continue to rise and by Monday may exceed their bankfull levels in many locations. Flooding will happen in floodplains, low-lying areas, areas with poor drainage and road ditches. Roads over topping in known flood prone areas are very likely.
Municipalities are advised to monitor known flood areas 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.
The Trent-Severn Waterway officials are monitoring this situation very closely and regulate the water control structures accordingly. All dams on the large Kawartha Lakes are open; lakes water levels are below average at this time.
Under these conditions, all local rivers, streams, and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous. Riverbanks and shorelines are slippery and unsafe; any remaining ice cover is unstable and hazardous. Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from 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.
Kawartha Conservation will continue monitoring local watercourses and notify the public and municipalities within its watershed jurisdiction of any changes. We are in close communication with partner agencies such as the Trent Severn Waterway, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and neighbouring Conservation Authorities on this situation.
Burnt and Gull River water 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.
For assistance in the event of a flood, and to obtain sandbags, please call your municipal emergency contact (see kawarthaconservation.com/watershed/flood-forecasting).
This Flood Warning will be in effect until Wednesday 18th, 2018. 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.