Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety
With warm temperatures and rain in the forecast, Maitland Conservation is issuing a Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety for the Maitland and Nine Mile River watersheds.
A fast 48-hour thaw is expected due to a low pressure system that will bring unseasonably warm temperatures and rain showers to the region today and Thursday. Temperatures will be above freezing Wednesday morning and will continue to rise before reaching a high of 13°C by Thursday afternoon. This will result in the snowpack quickly melting. Across the watershed the snowpack currently holds a range of 10 – 60 mm of water equivalent, with higher amounts limited to woodlot areas and some significant ponding in open fields. The rapid snow melt, combined with light rain and frozen ground conditions in some areas, means that a fast runoff and river response is expected.
While significant flooding is not expected, watercourses will likely reach or surpass bank full levels. Municipal staff should monitor local problem areas and be prepared for closures of low-lying roads. Ice jamming is expected to cause some localized flooding. Ice is unpredictable and may impact beyond the traditional ice prone areas in Saltford and Port Albert.
People should take extra caution and avoid rivers, ditches, and streams. The combination of slippery banks, broken or unstable ice and fast moving cold water will be dangerous. Any remaining ice cover on the river is not safe to be out on. Children and animals should be kept away from the water.
This message will remain in effect until 10:00 a.m. on Monday March 18, 2019. Looking at the longer term forecast, there is potential for an additional 10-15 mm of rain on Thursday. Maitland Conservation staff will be checking the snowpack today and will continue to monitor conditions. An update on watershed conditions will be provided if warranted.
Jeff Winzenried, Water Resources Technician
519-335-3557 ext. 243