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CRCA Extends Water Safety Statement


KINGSTON ON – The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has extended the current Water Safety Statement for the region.

Spring Freshet:

Weather forecasts indicate that air temperatures during the week of March 4th are expected to remain below seasonal, followed by above zero highs during the week of March 11th to kick off the spring season. The water content in this year’s snowpack is currently above average and there is a significant ice layer at the ground surface which may lead to increased runoff, as infiltration will be impeded. Ice accumulation in creeks, ditches, culverts, etc. may restrict flows, potentially leading to localized flooding of low-lying areas.   

Widespread flooding is NOT expected at this time. However, if you witness flooding and/or require assistance your first point of contact is the local municipality.

Ice Safety:

Ice conditions in the region remain unpredictable. Rainfall events this winter necessitated the continuous operation of area dams by Water Managers to manage flows and water levels. Ice near a dam or flow structure can be thinner and less consistent than in other areas because of changing water currents beneath. Changing water levels can crack the ice, leaving it weak and unstable. 

CRCA is urging residents to use caution and stay away from dams (inflow and outflow channels) and fast flowing watercourses. Creek banks and lake shorelines may be slippery, increasing the chance of falling in.

CRCA does not measure ice thickness for advising the public about ice conditions for recreational activities. Ice conditions can vary considerably from one waterbody to the next and within a single waterbody.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts and will update statements as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until March 27, 2019.

For up to date flooding information, please visit the CRCA’s flood forecasting and information page at www.crca.ca/flood.  

See below for watershed conditions terminology:
Normal: No flood conditions exist
Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that 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: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse 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.

Media contact for more information:  Krista Fazackerley, Communications & Education Supervisor, (613) 546-4228 ext. 243