Muskoka water levels continue to rise, surpass flood warning levels in Bala Reach
PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says as the Lake Muskoka water level continues to rise, flows out of Lake Muskoka into the Bala Reach are expected to surpass the flood warning levels of 280 cms within the next 24 hours.
The MNRF’s Parry Sound District office is advising area residents that a Flood Watch is in effect for the District, which includes Muskoka, Parry Sound and a north-west portion of Haliburton.
A Flood Warning is currently in effect for the Moon River/Bala Reach and the North Branch of the Muskoka River sub-watershed.
They also say flows in the North Branch Muskoka River within the Town of Bracebridge are expected to continue to rise over the lower flooding thresholds in the next few days.
All rivers in the MNRF district are currently experiencing high flows resulting from thunderstorms that occurred earlier this week, and significant snow melt.
In a release Wednesday, they say it is expected that lower-lying portions of known flood-prone roads along river courses will be impacted to various degrees as river levels remain high.
High water levels in the Huntsville Lakes (Lake Vernon, Fairy Lake and Peninsula Lake) and Mary Lake, typical during the spring, are expected to build and remain high as runoff from the forecasted rain and continuing snow melt makes its way through the watercourse.
Residents within the Parry Sound-Muskoka area should keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution around water bodies as flows and levels within lakes, rivers and streams remain high.
And residents who have a historic susceptibility to flooding should consider taking action to secure or protect any property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas. This may include ensuring sump pumps are functioning and/or securing items along the shore line as water levels rise.
Banks and shorelines adjacent to water bodies are extremely slippery and unstable. Residents and visitors should exercise caution while around water bodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets.
MNRF also advises extreme caution when using forest access roads for outdoor activities as many are seasonally inundated with water, prone to washouts and may be impassible due to current water levels.
MNRF is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Description of Weather System:
This message is being sent based on information received from MNRF – Surface Water Monitoring Centre, MNRF – Aviation Forest Fire and Emergency Management Services and Environment Canada.
A low pressure system is expected to pass through south-central Ontario on Saturday, April 15th causing precipitation to fall on the Muskoka district area in the amounts of 10-30 mm.
Weather is expected to be moderate between today (April 12th) and Friday, April 14th, with little to no precipitation expected during that time.
Description of Current Conditions:
Current water levels and flows are high, due to previous precipitation accumulation and sustained snow melt. The district is blanketed with an average of 14 cm of snow depth containing 42 mm of snow water content. This snow has been melting at a steady rate over the past two weeks, and approximately 20- 40 mm of rain has been received earlier this week as a result of thunderstorms in the area. These factors have contributed to the river and lake levels increasing steadily.
The current weather forecast calls for daytime highs over the next week to range from 4°C to 16°C, and night time lows to range from -4°C to 11°C, depending on the weather service.
Saturday’s forecast has an expected precipitation range of 10-30 mm.
Lake and river levels will be expected to continue to increase due to runoff from previous and forecasted rain as well as from expected snow melt over the weekend and into next week.
This message will expire on Tuesday, April 18 2017, at 12 p.m. (noon).
Terminology: Notification Levels:
WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – 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
FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities
FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities. 3
For more information please contact: Parry Sound District MNRF Water Management Department at 705-646-5531
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/
The Surface Water Monitoring Centre public webpage can be found here: http://www.ontario.ca/flooding
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