December 20, 2018 — A significant weather system is expected to cross through our area over the next two days. Environment and Climate Change Canada is forecasting up to 40 mm of rain starting tonight, Thursday, December 20 through Friday, December 21. The forecast calls for above freezing temperatures during the day on Friday.
Water levels across the Rideau Valley watershed are generally normal to slightly below normal and the amount of snow cover is slightly below normal for this time of year. The forecasted heavy rain and warm air temperatures are expected to melt most of the snow on the ground. The combination of rain and snowmelt is expected to cause water levels and flows to increase rapidly and may result in flooding in area streams and low-lying areas.
Residents are advised to stay away from all rivers and watercourses where flows are high and where banks might be unstable. Parents are encouraged to explain these dangers to their children.
Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and issue further statements as conditions warrant.
"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed
created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and
natural resource conservation."
RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:
- Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
- Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in area watercourses.
December 5, 2018 – This statement is to advise that the low water status in the Rideau River watershed is returned to “Normal” including the Kemptville Creek sub-watershed.
Precipitation over the last month has brought stream flows up to historical averages throughout the Rideau watershed. Runoff from the rain and snowmelt caused levels to rise late in November.
The impacts of low flows experienced throughout 2018, particularly in the Kemptville Creek subwatershed, will not be known until next spring. With inflows well below normal, fish and other inhabitants of the creek struggled to survive in the intermittent ponds left by the dry weather.
Despite the early onset of wintry conditions, stable ice cover has not yet formed. Watershed residents are advised to stay away from streams and lakes to allow ice to form fully.
Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed. Statements will be issued as conditions warrant.
Other relevant information sources are:
- Ministry of Environment and Climate Change: https://www.ontario.ca/page/managing-your-water-well-times-water-shortage
- Ontario’s Low Water Response program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/low-water-response-program.
- Parks Canada Infonet: https://w ww.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/rideau/info/infonet/tirant-deau-draft
- RVCA website: www.rvca.ca
- Hourly and daily streamflows and water levels: https://www.rvca.ca/watershed-monitoring-reporting/reporting/streamflow-water-levels.