Cold snap good news for flood emergencies as breaches coming Wednesday
MUSKOKA — As flood waters continue to rise across the district, municipal staffs and emergency personnel are bracing for a breach of river banks Wednesday.
But the good news is that a cold snap into Thursday morning will delay the melt a bit and give ground a little more time to absorb the moisture.
And a couple more roads have been closed Tuesday in the north and south end of Muskoka as everyone deals with the swelling aftermath of rain and snow the past four days.
Police in Huntsville have closed Old North Road in Huntsville between Old School House Road and Highway 11. The road will be closed until further notice.
And in Gravenhurst public works officials have closed Muskoka Rd. #20 from 2405 to 2432 (extension of Doe Lake Road) to traffic Tuesday, April 15, again until further notice. The cause they say in a news release Tuesday is the result of culvert failure.
Meanwhile public works staff there on Monday took delivery of 500 sand bags and 10 tonnes of sand at Joseph Place, off Talbot Trail and Graham Rd. on April 14, as water levels rise on the Black and SevernRivers.
Huntsville and Bracebridge have also set up free sand bag depots. Refer to their town websites for location details.
The Gravenhurst news release Tuesday states water levels rose about 25.4 cm. (10 inches) overnight Monday to a point where the water will breach the banks of the rivers if the current flow volumes continue.
They expect the flows will continue and the banks will be breached by Wednesday as the volumes at Vankoughnet monitoring station have not yet crested.
Gravenhurst will monitor the volumes of sand and sand bags and replenish as needed. The public works officials have ordered an additional 2,000 sand bags to replenish stock levels. Suppliers have been contacted to ascertain current demand levels. If needed, a larger supply will be ordered, officials in the Gateway to Muskoka say.
Town officials suggest that residents continue to refer to Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) website and bulletins for the most up-to-date water level information.
The MNR says the amount of forecasted rainfall over the past 24-hours did not fall in local watersheds.
But about 7 mm of rain and 10cm of snow did come down.
They say the current weather forecast for Parry Sound and Muskoka is approximately 5cm of snow with a daytime high of minus 2 degrees Celsius and near freezing Wednesday.
Below freezing temperatures are forecasted for Tuesday night and tomorrow night through to Thursday morning.
The add that given the much lower than forecasted amount of rainfall received over the past few days and currently colder weather conditions, the remaining but still substantial snow pack is expected to melt at a much reduced rate leading to the weekend.
The weather forecast into the weekend is calling for above freezing single-digit daytime temperatures and near freezing at night. Rainfall is forecasted for Saturday and Sunday.
Flows within the Big East River, Town of Huntsville continue to rise at a rate near 2 cubic meters/second (cms) per hour with flows currently at approximately 140 cms as measured at the upstream Williamsport data logger station.
It is expected that the rate-of-rise will slow significantly throughout the day given current conditions and peak over the next 12-24 hours.
The MNR says flooding of lower-lying, flood-prone locations along the Big East River has been reported, beginning 5 pm Monday.
The say flows on the North Branch of the MuskokaRiver will continue to rise as melt water and rainfall continues to make its way through the watershed.
Lakes on the North Branch of the MuskokaRiver are rising quite quickly, but should remain within their Normal Operating Zones through Wednesday.
The south Branch of the MuskokaRiver continues to rise at a much slower rate than other monitored water bodies.
Lakes and rivers within other river systems continue to rise but significant flooding has not been reported to date although there have been some road closures in low-lying areas over the last 24-hours.
The MagnetawanRiver system continues to rise as well and it is expected that water levels will rise above the normal operating zones of Cecebe and AhmicLakes today.
The return to seasonal temperatures and any additional rainfall received will continue to melt the snow pack and runoff will continue to enter local watercourses.
Lake and river levels will continue to rise in the coming days.
Water levels within most lakes regulated by dams are currently within the respective normal operating ranges.
As lake levels rise, river flows downstream of the dams will continue to rise as well.
The Parry Sound District MNR carries out snow surveys twice monthly over the winter, or more frequently as required.
Snow stations are located near the Village of Rosseau, ArrowheadProvincialPark, Brooks Mills, Norway Point, OuseLake in AlgonquinPark and near the Village of Sundridge.
Above normal snow water content has been measured across the region since early January 2014.
The snow water content in the snow pack as of April 11th is 20% above normal or 120% of the historical average in the area. Snow water content in the remaining snow pack has fallen from the April 4 snow survey readings but remains above normal for this time of year.
The MNR says dams have been prepared for optimal discharge through the spring melt.
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