Flood Watch: Warm weather and rain raise risk of flooding, ice jams 

For Immediate Release
Contact: GRCA Duty Officer 
Phone: 519-621-2763 

A warm front with rain is moving into the Grand River watershed this morning and will persist into Tuesday morning before cold temperatures return.

Air temperatures could reach 11C today. Rain is forecast to start early this evening and last until early Tuesday. The combination of warm air and warm rain will cause a portion of the snow pack to melt and water levels to rise. How much levels rise depends on the amount of rainfall. Conditions will be monitored closely.

Water levels will start to rise later today and last into Tuesday and Wednesday. While some river ice has started to melt, there remains significant ice in the system.

  • Nith River: Water levels could rise in the Nith River as most of the snowpack in the area has ripened over the past week. There is also a risk of ice jams in New Hamburg, Plattsville, Ayr and Wolverton. Flood co-ordinators in New Hamburg and Ayr should prepare to warn residents in the Level 1 flood areas.
  • Upper and central watershed: The increase in water levels is expected to be less in the northern portions of the watershed. The snow pack is deeper and can absorb some of the rain. There is a risk of ice jams in Grand Valley and West Montrose.
  • Lower Grand: Water level increases in the Grand downstream of Brantford may not be sufficient to cause ice movement however this will need to be monitored, especially near Cayuga.

The major reservoirs at Belwood, Conestogo, Guelph, Luther, Woolwich, Laurel, and Shades are at low winter holding levels and have maximum storage available to manage runoff.

Residents should use extreme caution near all watercourses. Many streams and ditches are hidden by snow, ice cover is unstable, stream banks are slippery, and water is very cold. With the March Break upon us, parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from watercourses.

This message will remain in effect until noon on Tuesday March 17. Updated flood messages will be issued as conditions develop.

For further information on preparing your property for flooding visit the Grand River Conservation Authority website at: http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=76&Sub1=5&Sub2=0

This release has been sent to inform residents and provide links to resources that will help them prepare for a potential flood emergency.

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