Weekend rains, thundershowers increase risk of flooding: MNRF
PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA-KAWARTHA — A rainfall of 15-20mm Saturday and 5-10mm more Sunday on raises the risk of lake, river and creek flooding, the MNRF says.
As a result the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry–Parry Sound District is advising area residents this morning that a ‘Flood Watch’ is in effect for its control district, which includes Muskoka, Parry Sound and a north-west portion of Haliburton.
A ‘Flood Warning’ remains in effect for the Moon River/Bala Reach, the North Branch of the Muskoka River sub-watershed and the South Branch of the Muskoka River.
They say flows out of Lake Muskoka into the Bala Reach have already surpassed the flood warning levels of 280 cms and flows will increase as the Lake Muskoka water level continues to rise.
They say a low pressure system is expected to pass through south-central Ontario today (Saturday, April 15) causing precipitation to fall on the Muskoka district area in the amounts of 15-20mm. Further precipitation is forecasted for Sunday, April 16, in the amount of 5-10mm.
And they report current water levels and flows are high, due to previous precipitation accumulation and sustained snow melt.
The district snow stations have melted, with zero snow at the monitoring stations, however there is still 106mm of snow water content in the upper part of the watershed in Algonquin Park.
Snow in the district and in Algonquine Park has been melting at a steady rate over the past month, and approximately 20-40mm 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 8°C to 14°C, and night time lows to range from -2°C to 10°C, depending on the weather service.
Saturday’s forecast has an expected precipitation range of 15-20mm, with a chance for thunderstorms.
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 MNRF message will expire on Wednesday, April 19 2017, at noon.
And flows into the north and south Branches of the Muskoka River are expected to continue to rise over the lower flooding thresholds with the forecasted precipitation.
All rivers in the MNRF district are currently experiencing high flows resulting from thunderstorms that occurred earlier this week and significant snow melt. 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.
MNRF officials urge residents within the affected areas to 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.
Those with a history of 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.
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.
For more information please contact the 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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