Brief Thaw & Rain Expected to cause Minor Runoff (media release, January 3, 2017)

January 3, 2017 – The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) expects the brief warm spell and rain to cause minor runoff into watershed streams, rivers and ditches. The UTRCA expects flows to peak overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday, and to remain elevated for the rest of the week.

“We remind everyone to be very cautious near watercourses, and to keep children and pets away. Any ice cover is unstable and thin, streambanks are slippery and the water is very cold,” said Mark Shifflett, UTRCA Senior Water Resources Engineer.

The Upper Thames region has received 2-10 mm across the watershed since Monday evening, with the higher amounts measured north of Highway 7.  An additional 10 mm is forecast for the rest of today, with temperatures expected to reach 6 degrees C, before dropping to below zero overnight and remaining below freezing for the next several days.

“Areas in the north part of the watershed that have more snowpack shouldn’t have as much runoff, as the snow can absorb much of the rain and melting snow,” said Shifflett. “We expect stream flows to be similar to or less than the flows we saw last week after the rain on Boxing Day.”

The UTRCA’s flood control reservoirs at Fanshawe, Wildwood and Pittock Conservation Areas are at seasonal levels. UTRCA officials are monitoring the situation, and will report on any changing conditions if necessary.

Go to for Thames River water levels.

Contact:  Eleanor Heagy, Communication Specialist

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