Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety
A low pressure system tracking through southwestern Ontario brought 25 mm to 40 mm of rain to the Maitland and Nine Mile River watersheds Thursday night and early Friday morning. Ground conditions were already saturated prior to the rain and this is resulting in quick runoff and rising river levels.
While significant flooding is not expected, most watercourses are expected to reach or surpass bankfull levels. Municipal staff are being asked to monitor local flood prone areas and be prepared for closures of low-lying roads. People should take extra caution and avoid rivers, ditches, and streams. The combination of slippery banks and cold, fast moving water will be dangerous. Children and pets should be kept away from watercourses.
Headwater streams (Harriston, Listowel, Lucknow) are expected to peak late tonight or early Saturday morning, while lower reaches are projected to peak later in the weekend.
Lake Huron Shoreline Conditions
As the low pressure system moves out of the area, strong northwest winds are expected along the Lake Huron shoreline. Maximum sustained wind speeds of 40km/hr with gusts of 70km/hr are forecast to begin Friday night and continue through Saturday morning. Lake Huron wave heights will increase as a result of the strong winds. The combination of high waves and saturated ground conditions may result in an increased risk of erosion along the lakeshore bluffs.
Residents and municipal officials are reminded to stay well back from breaking waves, and to avoid top-of-bluff areas during and immediately after the storm, in case there has been any movement of the lake bank.
This message is in effect until 10:00 am on Monday April 29, 2019 unless local conditions warrant further updates.
Jeff Winzenried, Water Resources Technician