Flood Watch Issued for Lower Maitland and Nine River Municipalities
The Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety issued on January 10, 2018 has been upgraded to a Flood Watch for the Township of Ashfield-Wawanosh-Colborne, Municipality of Central Huron and the Town of Goderich.
Prior to the mild temperatures earlier this week, the snowpack water equivalent was estimated at between 60 and 70mm across the watershed. Much of the snowpack has since depleted and the Maitland and Nine Mile River watersheds received an additional 10 to 15 mm of rain overnight.
River headwater areas are fairly ice-free and are expected to peak later today, while the lower order rivers will continue to rise into the weekend.
Areas along the Lower Maitland River are currently experiencing minor ice jamming due to ice breakup and elevated flows. As a result, water levels may rapidly rise and fall in local areas. Due to this ice jamming risk, a Flood Watch is being issued for Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, Central Huron and the Town of Goderich. Maitland Conservation recommends that municipalities monitor flood prone areas and structures. As of 11:00 am today, both the Lower Maitland and Nine Mile Rivers were flowing freely, but ice and debris may continue to accumulate until Monday.
Elevated flows within the Nine Mile River watershed, combined with rapidly freezing temperatures forecasted through the weekend, will create the potential for frazil ice formation at the mouth of the Nine Mile River. As a result, a Flood Watch is being issued for Port Albert.
The Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety, issued on Jan. 10, 2018, remains in effect for the remainder of the watershed.
This message is in effect until 12:00 noon on Monday January 15, 2018.
Jeff Winzenried, Water Resources Technician