January 21, 2019 — The current very cold weather and large snow storm yesterday is creating some localized ice jams which can cause significant fluctuations in water levels as ice builds and releases. More specifically, the RVCA has received reports of ice jams in the Tay River at Port Elmsley which is causing flooding of some residential properties. There may be other areas as well where ice jams have formed and are causing localized flooding, especially along the Tay River. Since ice jams can form anywhere that there is open water, it is difficult to predict where or when they can occur and the impact they may have on the river. As such, please notify RVCA of any other known ice jams that are observed.
The cold weather is to continue for one more day and the temperature will warm and be more within the normal range for this time of year. The warmer temperatures are expected to break up the ice jams.
Residents are advised to stay away from all rivers and watercourses in the vicinity of any ice jams and high water areas. 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.