The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority issued a watershed conditions statement on water safety on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
SCRCA officials say the region is experiencing deteriorating ice and snow and there is the potential for ice jamming, shoreline erosion and flooding.
“Recent above-seasonal temperatures and strong winds have promoted the breakup and movement of ice in the St. Clair River,” SCRCA officials say.
“Sections of the river are now open, however ice remains in the lower reaches of the system. Current northwesterly winds are anticipated to continue until tomorrow afternoon, and may promote the movement of ice from Lake Huron into the river.”
SCRCA officials added: “Residents may experience flooding and/or erosion as ice continues to deteriorate and move downstream, with the potential for jamming near the St. Clair Flats.”
The Sydenham River is also undergoing ice deterioration, as well as loss of snowpack across the region, SCRCA officials say.
“Minor ice jams are possible, as are elevated water levels into natural floodplain areas, parks and farm fields,” SCRCA officials say.
“Soils may become saturated and could contribute to ponding, increased runoff into watercourses, and possible increased erosion and seepage issues.”
Residents are reminded to avoid shorelines, watercourses and flooded areas due to dangerous ice conditions, slippery banks and cold, swift moving water, SCRCA officials say.
“Children and pets should be kept away from the water,” SCRCA officials added.
The Conservation Authority continues to monitor watershed conditions and will issue advisories to municipalities and media should flood issues arise.
Municipal emergency response staff and road superintendents should monitor local conditions closely, officials say.
This message will remain in effect until Friday, February 26, 2021, unless otherwise updated.