GRCA: Watershed Conditions Statement: Flood Outlook #1 

For Immediate Release
3/28/2014 
Contact: GRCA Duty Officer 
Phone: 519-621-2761 

Warmer weather with some rain or snow is forecast over the weekend and into the beginning of next week. This combination will cause snow melt and an increase in river flows through the weekend. Major flooding is not expected over the weekend, however this is the start of what is expected to be an extended spring melt through April.

The Grand River watershed has an above average snowpack. Snow melt in past weeks has exposed some bare fields in the southern part of the watershed, however woodlots and fence rows still have snow. The north still has full winter conditions and the snow melt is expected to continue through most of April. The current weather system has temperatures forecast to rise to day time highs of about 10C Monday and Tuesday with cooler temperatures later in the week. Night time lows are forecast to drop below zero which will slow down the snow melt process.

Ice conditions along the Grand River are beginning to deteriorate with the increased flows and sunshine. Ice above Lake Erie to Cayuga is generally intact, but deteriorating. The Coast Guard icebreaker has been requested to break ice at the outlet of the river and is expected by early next week. Ice is intact above the Caledonia dam to Newport. Ice conditions above Brantford show mixed sections of open water and intact ice. The upper Grand River and tributaries including the Nith, Conestogo, and Speed are generally ice covered. Some movement of ice is expected as river levels rise with the risk of local ice jams. There is elevated risk of debris and log jams with the ice due to the ice storm damage.

The major reservoirs at Belwood, Conestogo, Guelph, Luther, Woolwich, Laurel, and Shades are at low winter holding levels and have maximum storage available. There is currently minimal inflow to the reservoirs.

Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and when combined with forecast weather conditions, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from all watercourses and off frozen water bodies which may be weakened as a result of the warming trend.

GRCA staff will be keeping a close eye on the situation and issue updates as required.

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