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Expect weekend nuisance flooding with warm temperatures and rainfall

Weather forecasts for the Quinte Conservation Watershed predict 20-25 mm of rainfall from Friday to Sunday, with warming temperatures expected to stay above zero until Monday.

“Runoff from rain and snow melt will create a quick rise in water levels on major creeks and rivers; however, they are not forecasted to over top their banks at this time.” said Dave Eastcott, Quinte Conservation Water Resources Technologist. “It is projected that this spring’s freshet will start to occur this weekend, with a series of peaks in river flows, starting with the first to occur early next week.”

He notes current watershed conditions are fairly typical for this time of year.

“Snowmelt has been occurring slowly for several weeks already, with much of the snowpack being lost south of Highway 7. North of Highway 7 a significant amount of snow remains with slightly above normal water content in the most northerly areas. River flows are average for mid-March, which provide significant capacity to accommodate future increases.”

Nuisance flooding is likely to occur around small watercourses, urban areas, and ditches. Large river systems and inland lakes are not expected to flood at this time.

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.

Unstable ice conditions are also to be expected due to warming temperatures and higher flows. The public is advised to exercise extreme caution when near rivers and waterbodies and to stay away from open and fast flowing water, culverts, dams, ice covered water, and banks.

Residents in flood-prone or low-lying areas are reminded take necessary precautions to protect their property.

“Please ensure sump pumps are in good working condition and to have easy access to a portable backup generator and pump. Help reduce ponding by keeping ditches, culverts, and storm drains clear from obstructions and secure items that might float away as flows increase.”

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