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Check your sump pumps; clear storm drains as localized flooding possible

Warming temperatures and 5-10mm of rainfall over the next few days may cause localized flooding in urban areas and ditches.

Quinte Conservation has upgraded its ‘water safety statement’ to a ‘flood outlook statement’ and reminds residents to make sure their sump pumps are in good working condition, and to help reduce ponding by keeping ditches, culverts, and storm drains clear from obstructions.

“Runoff on ice and frozen ground will create a quick rise in water levels on creeks and rivers,” said Christine McClure, Water Resources Manager. “However, river flows are below average for this time of year and are not forecasted to over top their banks at this time.”

Small creeks in the southern portion of the watershed will over top their banks and localized flooding in urban areas and ditches will occur.

McClure said increased flows have the potential for ice breakup. Ice conditions can change rapidly, making ice jamming hard to predict.

“Staff measure snow depth and snow water equivalent twice each month. Staff also use a snow model in order to predict snow melt and changing conditions. Snow in the southern regions of the watershed contains 15-85mm of water. Snow in the northern regions of the watershed contains 60-150mm of water, which is normal to three times the normal amount.”

The temperatures are expected to cool over the weekend, which will slow snow melt and reduce runoff, allowing some relief to the river systems in the days that follow.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions. For current water levels or to report changes in water levels and any observations of ice jamming, residents are encouraged to visit

A Flood Outlook Statement gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

This message will be in effect until (or updated before) March 19, 2019

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at

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