Rain in Forecast, Conservation Authority expects Minor Runoff (media release, February 23, 2017)

February 23, 2017 – The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) is keeping an eye on local streams and rivers, and asking people to stay safe around watercourses. Current weather forecasts are generally calling for 10-15 mm of rain overnight tonight, and an additional 15-20 mm of rain are forecast overnight Friday. There is a risk of thunderstorms both nights.

“The ground is generally saturated, so any rain we get will produce runoff into local ditches, streams, rivers and ponds,” said Mark Shifflett, UTRCA Senior Water Resources Engineer. “We expect the rain to keep stream flows elevated throughout the weekend and into next week, with flows likely peaking on Saturday during the day or overnight.”

With this week’s warm temperatures, the remaining snowpack has been gradually melting, keeping flows elevated in watercourses throughout much of the watershed.

“With the current forecasts, we may be looking at minor flooding of low lying areas, although there could be higher flows is some areas due to thunderstorms,” said Shifflett.

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.

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

Contact: Teresa Hollingsworth, Manager, Community & Corporate Services

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