Rain Expected to Produce Minor Runoff (flood bulletin, February 23-27, 2017)

Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety (Issued February 23, 2017 at 2:30 pm; Valid until February 27, 2017)

Current forecasts are generally calling for 10-15 mm of rain overnight tonight, with an additional 15-20 mm of rain forecast overnight Friday. There is a risk of thunderstorms both nights.

With the warm temperatures experienced this week, the remaining snowpack has been gradually melting, keeping flows elevated in watercourses throughout much of the watershed this week, continuing into today. As a result of the sustained warm temperatures, the majority of the watershed snowpack has now melted.

With generally saturated, spring-like ground conditions, any rainfall received will produce runoff to watercourses. The forecast rain is expected to cause stream flows to remain elevated throughout the weekend and into next week, with the most likely timing of flow peaks during the day Saturday and overnight Saturday.

With the current forecasts, stream flow rates are generally expected to be similar to the flows observed in last month’s runoff events, which saw minor flooding of low lying areas. Localized higher flows could be observed as a result of thunderstorm activity. The timing of peak flows will depend on the pattern and timing of rainfall received, but stream flows are expected to begin dropping by Sunday.

Municipal staff should monitor local drainage problem areas.

Residents are reminded to use extreme caution near all watercourses, and keep children and pets away. Streambanks are slippery, the water is very cold, and any remaining ice is unstable and thin.

The UTRCA’s flood control reservoirs at Fanshawe, Wildwood and Pittock Conservation Areas are available to assist in managing runoff. UTRCA officials are monitoring the situation, and will report on any changing conditions if necessary.

See Thames River water level information — www.thamesriver.on.ca

Contact: Eleanor Heagy, Communications Specialist

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