January 12, 2018 – With unusually warm temperatures melting much of the snow cover, water levels are rising throughout the Rideau watershed bringing on unstable ice conditions.
Levels can be expected to continue to rise through the day until a forecast rapid freeze occurs mid-afternoon. In faster flowing stream sections, ice has broken up and been moved downstream and there is the potential for ice jamming that could cause localized high water situations.
On lakes and flat stream sections, the ice will have been lifted by the increased water levels and have meltwater ponded on the surface. As temperatures drop, that water will freeze but it will not be sufficiently strong for a few days of cold temperatures.
Parents should ensure that children understand the hazards of playing around watercourses in the winter and all watershed residents are advised to stay off of the ice on rivers and streams and avoid ice and snow covered streambanks where footing can be unpredictable.
Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and issue further statements as conditions warrant.
(WCS - 1/2018)