North Bay District
Monday, June 10, 2019
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – North Bay District is advising residents in the Lake Nipissing and Upper French River areas that a Flood Warning is in effect until Monday, June 17, 2019.
The Ministry is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Description of Weather System
Lake Nipissing and the Upper French River area are forecast to receive 20-25mm of rain throughout today with a risk of thunderstorms this afternoon. Rain will taper off through the evening and overnight. Rain is expected to begin again on Thursday with 15-20mm forecast, and an additional 5mm on Friday. Variable winds are expected throughout the next five days with today’s forecast calling for south winds at 19 km/h, gusting to 29km/h. Wind speed and direction continues to be a major factor in local water levels.
The long-term trends for inflows have continued to decline over the past five days. With the current outflows and the weather forecast, the Lake level is forecasted to continue to decrease, but will ultimately depend on rate of evaporation and actual amount of rain over the coming days. With the rain in the forecast this week, levels may increase due to local inflows.
Description of Current Conditions
The affected area for the flood warning has experienced significant increases in water levels and stream flows over the past month and a half. The combination of repeated rainfall and snowmelt has resulted in water levels in the area rising significantly, reaching or exceeding flood levels in many areas. Further significant rainfall events could increase the potential for flooding and further impact currently flooded areas.
The Lake Nipissing and Upper French River areas have been impacted by higher than normal water levels. Lake Nipissing water levels are currently sitting at 196.30m, above the Maximum ‘Non-Damage’ water level of 196.22m. Higher than normal water levels and flows are expected to continue in the Lake Nipissing and Upper French River area if it receives the wind and precipitation currently forecasted. High winds and rainfall could pose a significant risk and cause additional damages if forecasts should change.
On Lake Nipissing and the Upper French River, boaters are being urged to stay away from shorelines and flood affected areas so that vessel movements do not pose a risk to the safety of individuals or cause damage to the environment, properties and infrastructure.
Due to safety concerns and the higher than normal water levels, safety booms in the following locations have not been installed at:
• French River Dams at Lake Nipissing outlet (Big Chaudière, Little Chaudière and Portage)
Recreational users (boats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, etc.) are urged to stay away from dams and flood affected areas as high water levels and strong currents are dangerous for watercraft and pose a serious safety risk. Reports of large debris (e.g. logs, docks, decks, etc.) are also being reported in flood affected waters and pose an additional safety risk to recreational users.
Municipalities and residents, especially those in low-lying areas and along shorelines, are encouraged to monitor these conditions and prepare accordingly. Shorelines and banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery and unstable at this time and, when combined with cold open water, pose a serious hazard.
Road closures and sand bagging efforts continue across much of the Lake Nipissing and the Upper French River and many area residents have been impacted by localized flooding.
A close watch on local forecasts and conditions is recommended.
• WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions
• WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
• FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities • FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.
• Surface Water Monitoring Centre public webpage www.ontario.ca/flooding
• Environment Canada bulletins: www. weather.gc.ca
• A close watch on local conditions and weather forecasts from Environment Canada is recommended.
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For more information please contact:
Graham Mewett, IRM Technical Specialist
Danielle Loranger, A/IRM Technical Specialist