ABCA Flood Message March 8, 2016

Snowmelt associated with mild weather and the potential of 30+mm of rainfall could result in high stream flows through the weekend

Spring-like weather arrived yesterday with temperatures approaching 10 degrees Celsius across much of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) watershed area. Daytime high temperatures are forecast to remain above 10 degrees Celsius through the week and will result in the melting of the remaining snowpack from the most recent winter storm. Approximately 25 millimetres (mm) of liquid water equivalent remains in the snowpack and, for the most part, is expected to melt by Wednesday, resulting in a slow rise in streamflows. The most significant impact on flows will be from a forecasted 20-30mm of rainfall Wednesday evening and through Thursday.

Based on current forecast estimates, major flooding is not anticipated. However, with stream levels already elevated, heavy rainfall on saturated ground would result in a quick water level rise in streams and rivers. Levels in watercourses could approach or exceed bank-full conditions, resulting in flooding of traditional low-lying flood plain areas. If higher precipitation amounts are realized, stream flows could peak at their highest levels so far in 2016. Flows are expected to stay high into next week.

With rivers now free of solid ice, the risk of ice-jam related flooding is minimal.

Municipal staff should monitor local drainage problem areas.

Residents are reminded to stay away from all watercourses. The extremely cold water, combined with slippery and unstable stream banks, has created hazardous conditions near all waterways. Any remaining ice in ponded watercourses should be considered unsafe.

This message will remain in effect until 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 14, 2016, unless local conditions warrant further updates. The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide an update if required.

Details available at www.abca.on.ca

Read this news update on Lambton Shores Website

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