News

Water Safety Statement issued for NBMCA Watershed

Friday, April 04, 2014   by: Kate Adams

North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority
News Release

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With the spring melt underway and some precipitation expected over the next two days, a Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety has been issued by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority.

As a low pressure system originating in Southern US continues to move across Northeastern Ontario through the day, 10-20 mm of rain is expect to fall by Saturday morning with the chance of freezing rain.  

Flooding is not anticipated.

“We’re all glad to see the spring melt finally underway but it’s important with the melting of the ice and snow that the public be careful around area waterways,” said Susan Brownlee, NBMCA’s Regulations Officer.

Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and when combined with cold open water, pose a serious hazard. 

Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses and off water bodies that have thinning, unsafe ice. 

“Looks like temperatures will remain cooler than normal for the near future and then begin to warm up to around average.

These conditions, combined with average precipitations, will help the snowpack melt slowly and hopefully reduce the change of flooding.  We’ll have to keep an eye on the weather,” she added.

The milder weather and precipitation that we have experienced this past week has resulted in a slight decrease in snow depth throughout the NBMCA watershed; however, the water content has increased slightly. 

Water content in the La Vase River and Wasi River subwatersheds are over 200% of normal for this time of year, with North Bay’s Chippewa Creek subwatershed measuring 300% of normal. 

Monitoring weather and flood conditions is a shared responsibility of Conservation Authorities, Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and Environment Canada. When flooding is possible or about to occur, NBMCA issue flood messages to municipal emergency management officials and the media. The municipal officials then take action to warn local residents. 

NBMCA closely monitors the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.

Flood forecast messages enable the NBMCA and municipalities to prepare for, track and manage local flooding.

Advance warning provides municipalities with the opportunity to put emergency plans into operation, evacuate communities if necessary, and secure property in areas that are more likely to flood.

NBMCA advises the general public through the www.nbmca.on.ca website with the flood status icon and a link to information about current conditions.

NBMCA also issues these messages to the public through local media, twitter @NBMCA  and on facebook.com/NBMCA.

A close watch on local conditions and weather forecasts from Environment Canada is recommended. Environment Canada bulletins can be found at http://weather.gc.ca/    

Other information is available on the Surface Water Monitoring Centre public webpage: www.ontario.ca/flooding.

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