Otonabee Conservation advises that the Flood Warning issued on Saturday, April 14, 2018, has been updated for all watercourses/waterbodies within the watershed region.

A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or is occurring.

Ouse River, Indian River and Tributaries of the Kawartha Lakes and the Otonabee River

During the past 4 days, a major weather system brought to the region liquid and solid precipitation totaling about 70 mm. Another 20 mm to 30 mm is forecast for today as the system tapers off. After today, there is no significant precipitation in the forecast.

Throughout the geographical jurisdiction of Otonabee Conservation, the ground is saturated, and therefore, incapable of absorbing the liquid portion of the precipitation received. Continued below normal air temperatures will keep the solid precipitation received stored on the ground. A return to normal air temperatures, however, will occur later in the week, which will increase the solid precipitation currently stored on the ground. Currently, there is significant pooling/ponding in low lying areas where there is poor drainage.

In addition, local rivers, streams and creeks are flowing at rates well-above normal. Next Friday and weekend, when the melt is expected to arrive, water levels/flows in area watercourses and waterbodies are expected to increase and may even exceed their normal confines. Hence, area businesses and residents located in low lying, flood vulnerable areas along the shores of the Ouse River, Indian River and tributaries of the Kawartha Lakes and Otonabee River, as well as those people located on the banks of other watercourses/waterbodies, including wetlands, are advised to prepare for flooding caused by the forecasted melting of snow and ice, and saturated ground and poor drainage conditions.

Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River and Rice Lake

As a result of significant precipitation receiving during the past week, inflows to the Kawartha Lakes from the Haliburton Lakes region to the north have dramatically increased. Accordingly, outflows from the Kawartha Lakes through the Otonabee River have also increased. Today’s Otonabee River flows below Lock #19 are an estimated 280 cubic meters per second (cms). In addition, starting later in the week, the forecast is for positive air temperatures in the 4,367 square kilometer drainage area of the Haliburton Lakes region. The warm spell will cause the snowpack in the Haliburton Lakes region to melt, which in turn, will cause inflows to the Kawartha Lakes to increase. In preparation of the forecasted warm spell, water managers will be evacuating water from the Trent-Severn Waterway system in an effort to create some room for the expected increased inflows. As a result, residents and businesses located in low lying, flood vulnerable areas on the shores of the Kawartha Lakes, the Otonabee River and Rice Lake are advised to prepare themselves and their property for still greater increases of water levels/flows in the coming days.

Otonabee Conservation will continue to monitor current conditions and issue updates as required. This Flood Warning will be updated no later than 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2018.