(LTVCA)

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) has issued a flood outlook across the region.

LTVCA officials say forecasts are calling for a spike in temperatures and 15 to 25 mm of rain for today and tomorrow.

LTVCA officials say:

– Local ditches, creeks and streams could reach bank full conditions or spill out into their floodplains.

– Along the Thames River, flooding is expected of the low lying river flats from Delaware down to Chatham, including the sidewalk in downtown Chatham.

– Water levels can be expected to remain high throughout the weekend and into early next week for downstream areas.

“Daytime high temperatures for today are expected to be between 10 and 15 C and temperatures are expected to remain above freezing until tomorrow night,” LTVCA officials said in a media release.

“Forecasts are also calling for thundershowers with 15 to 20 mm of rain today and the potential for an additional 5 mm tomorrow. While most of the snow has already melted out of the Lower Thames watershed, there is still water stored in the snowpack in the Upper Thames watershed which will be released and add to runoff caused by the rain.”

On the region’s ditches, creeks and streams, water levels will rise and some could reach bank full conditions or spill out into their floodplains, LTVCA officials say.

“Water levels should be expected to start rising later today and remain high throughout the day tomorrow. On the Thames River, water levels would be expected to rise and flood the low lying river flats from Delaware down to Chatham including the sidewalk in downtown Chatham.”

Peak flows in the upstream areas of the Lower Thames can be expected later in the day tomorrow and work their way downstream over the weekend, LTVCA officials say.

“Along the Thames River through Middlesex and Elgin counties, water levels could be similar to, or slightly higher than, those seen earlier in February this year. Through Chatham-Kent, those February water levels were higher than usual due to the effects of an ice jam downstream. The ice on the Thames River has now all melted out and there is no longer a risk of an ice jam. Through Chatham-Kent, water levels are not expected to reach as high as they did during February’s event. Water levels would be expected to remain high through the weekend and into early next week.”

People should take extra caution and avoid the river, ditches, and streams.

“The combination of slippery banks and fast moving cold water can be dangerous. Standing water can also present unseen hazards,” LTVCA officials say.

“Children and animals should be kept away from the water. Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.”

This flood outlook will be in effect until March 18.