Ice storm results in floodwatch notice

Par Raymond Berthiaume
Ice storm results in floodwatch notice
floodwatch notice

The South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC) issued a floodwatch notice for communities in the Lower Ottawa River area. The notice covers the area from Arnprior up to Hawkesbury but residents of other communities further upstream should heed the advice provided as part of the floodwatch notice.

The SNC advisory warns that rainfall from the ice storm that swept across Eastern Ontario overnight April 5 and 6 combined with warm, sunny weather over the Easter weekend speeding up the snow melt marks the start of the spring freshet in the Ottawa River basin. As the weather continues to warm up, residents living in the Lower Ottawa River region can expect to above average snow melt condition in some parts of the region, and a chance of minor flooding in low-level areas along the river banks.

The SNC noted there is no cause for alarm right now. SNC and the Raisin River Conservation Authority (RRCA), Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority continue to monitor water levels in their watersheds, which empty into the Ottawa River. The agencies and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will issue notices of changes in floodwatch conditions and also post updates on their websites.

 Anyone with a home or business located in an area prone to flooding is advised to pay attention to changing conditions and take any measure needed to protect their property. Residents are also advised to stay away from creeks and streams where the water level is high and the stream bank may be slippery or unstable.

In some areas where ice break up continues in nearby streams, there may be a risk of ice jams at bridges or culverts that can cause partial flooding of neighbouring property or roads.

Parents are urged to talk to their children about the danger of playing near streams at this time and if a home is located near a creek or stream to supervise their children when they are outside.

Homeowners should make sure their sump pumps are in good working condition and that the pump has a backwater valve. Anyone with a portable generator and backup pump should also check that the equipment is in working order and that sufficient fuel is available to power them.

Make sure building downspouts are clear and that the outlets are at least three metres away from the building. Check that driveway culverts are clear of debris and able to drain.

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