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Flooding update for Lake Nipissing-Mattawa

Tuesday, May 20, 2014   by: Jeff Turl

Mattawa River -Turcotte Park flooding. Photo by Hazel Swindle.

North Bay & Callander Shorelines of Lake Nipissing are still in danger of flooding, and a "flood watch" has been extended.

A "Flood Outlook" has also been extended for the Mattawa River Watershed

With Lake Nipissing continuing to rise, the potential for flooding still exists along the Lake Nipissing shoreline and flood prone areas in North Bay and Callander, while anticipated rainfall, perhaps heavy at times during thunderstorms, may result in flooding in low-lying areas of the Mattawa River watershed.

A "FLOOD WATCH" means there is the potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities.  Environment Canada is calling for winds on Nipissing to be south-easterly overnight and Wednesday morning, changing to easterly by afternoon.

A  "FLOOD OUTLOOK": gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority’s Flood Watch for the Callander North Bay shoreline of Lake Nipissing and the Flood Outlook for the Mattawa River watershed  remain in effect until Friday.

“The watershed is forecast to receive between 5 and 20mm of precipitation today through to Wednesday, with the upper amount occurring with thunderstorm activity.  Any rainfall received in conjunction with thunderstorms may result in flooding in low-lying areas,” said Susan Brownlee, NBMCA’s Regulations Officer.

Although the lack of precipitation over the past few days has been a relief for some area waterways, approximately 34.3mm of rain has been received at the North Bay Airport in the past week. 

Lake Nipissing is continuing to rise. 

“The water level is now 19cm above the upper summer operating range, up 9 cm since the May 16 Flood Watch was issued.  Lake Nipissing is expected to continue to gradually increase over the next few days.  Watercourses that drain into the Mattawa River watershed also remain high for this time of year," she added.

In addition to Lake Nipissing’s rising water level, wind is also concern. Wind direction and speed are a determining factor for potential damages along the shoreline.

Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

The NBMCA is also monitoring the Lake Nipissing’s level in anticipation of operating the Parks Creek Backflood Control Structure near the mouth of the creek at Lakeshore Dr.  Logs have been put in the outer bays of the structure in anticipation of rising lake levels.  This structure prevents high water from Lake Nipissing from flowing into Parks Creek, therefore preventing the backflow of water from flooding homes in the West Ferris area.

Pumps will be put into operation on the Parks Creek Backflood Control Structure if the elevation of Lake Nipissing reaches 196.22m above sea level.  The lake is currently at 196.14m, 19cm above the summer operating range.

Mattawa River’s Flood Outlook and Lake Nipissing’s Flood Watch messages will be in effect until Friday,.

The NBMCA  says the Flood Watch for Lake Nipissing does not supersede the Flood Watch that issued by the North Bay District Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) on May 20.  It is intended to provide information on the current condition of Lake Nipissing and potential risks for the Lake Nipissing shoreline and flood-prone areas within the City of North Bay and the Municipality of Callander.

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.

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