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CRCA Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook

CRCA WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY

KINGSTON ON – The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has issued a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook today, April 17.

The ground is saturated in many areas and is still frozen in some parts of the region. Except for isolated patches of snow and ice, the ground is bare. The current ground conditions can lead to high runoff from rainfall due to the soil’s limited infiltration ability.  

Creek flows remain elevated and above seasonal norms, due to recent rainfall events. Weather forecasts indicate 30 to 50 mm of precipitation between Thursday, April 18 through Saturday, April 20. Uncertainty remains as to the total rainfall amounts and timing. Currently, forecasts expect the bulk of the rain to fall on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20. 

This range of forecasted rainfall will continue to impact flows and raise levels further due to increased runoff in areas where the ground is saturated. If the higher forecasted precipitation amounts occur, some lakes, creeks and rivers may experience higher than normal spring levels, 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.

Seasonal lake level increases have begun, and dam outflows have increased as water managers continue to operate structures to pass flows down through the system. 

CRCA is urging residents to use caution, to stay off the ice, 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.

Remaining ice conditions on lakes have the potential for damage to infrastructure while seasonal lake levels and flows fluctuate. 

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts and will update statements as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until May 1, 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.