Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Deteriorating ice and snow leads to flood watch being issued

With deteriorating ice and snow across the region and the potential for minor ice jamming, the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) has issued a flood watch.

“Recent warm temperatures and 5-10 mm of rain over the weekend have resulted in further loss of snowpack across the region, elevating water levels on the Sydenham River into natural floodplain areas, farmland and parks,” SCRCA officials said in a media release on March 1, 2021.

“Remaining snowpack in the watershed is upwards of 15 cm in depth with a snow-water equivalent of 32 mm. Temperatures for this week are anticipated to continue the deterioration of snow in the region, however below-freezing overnight temperatures will partially slow melting. Water levels are anticipated to remain high in the coming days with levels elevating further in some areas with continued snow loss.”

SCRCA officials say some roads may become impacted.

“Ice on lakes and rivers continue to disintegrate and minor ice jams are possible as the ice moves through the watershed,” SCRCA officials say.

“Sections of the rivers are open however ice remains in the lower reaches of both, with brash ice currently at the outlet of the St. Clair River into Lake St. Clair. Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard vessels have been conducting ice flushing operations on the river.”

Freezing spray and gale warnings are in effected for Southern Lake Huron, SCRCA officials added.

“Strong northwesterly winds and anticipated to gust upwards of 70 km/h before subsiding overnight,” SCRCA say.

“Residents are reminded to avoid shorelines, watercourses and flooded areas due to dangerous ice conditions, slippery banks and cold, swift moving water. Children and pets should be kept away from the water.”

The Conservation Authority continues to monitor watershed conditions and will issue advisories to municipalities and media should flood issues arise, SCRCA say.

Municipal emergency response staff and road superintendents should monitor local conditions closely.

This flood watch will remain in effect until Wednesday, March 3, 2021, unless otherwise updated

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