Today is the first day of spring, and an annual sign is the ice removal off Parks Creek near Lakeshore Drive.
Work is set to begin tomorrow and so the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority is urging people and snowmobilers to stay off the creek and away from the mouth of the creek on Lake Nipissing.
The creek is a popular trail for sledders.
“There is a lot of snow and ice on the creek this year and we need to create some storage space for runoff when the melt eventually starts,” explains Troy Storms, Manager, Lands & Stewardship. “The ice removal will also continue a short way into Lake Nipissing, and upstream beyond Lakeshore Drive,” he added.
Each year NBMCA assesses the capacity of Parks Creek to absorb the spring melt and manages the flood control structure on the creek at Eva Wardlaw Conservation Area to ensure that people and property along the creek are safe from the risks associated with flooding.
“Removal of ice between the flood control structure and Lake Nipissing will help minimize the risk of any property flooding or ice damage to the control structure,” added Storms.
Lakeshore Drive residents in the area should experience minimal disruption from the ice removal project. The NBMCA is not anticipating any disturbance to the creek bed and the ice will be piled on the banks of Parks Creek to slowly melt. The public is urged to stay away from the ice piles as they are removed.
Mandated by the Province of Ontario to proactively and reactively respond to floodplain issues, the NBMCA constructed a Backflood Control Structure on Parks Creek in 1995 to prevent high water from Lake Nipissing flooding properties within the Parks Creek floodplain.
As part of the maintenance plan for the Backflood Control Structure, the conditions at Parks Creek are assessed each spring and autumn for the creek’s capacity to accommodate the season’s increased water flows.