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Please be advised that Otonabee Conservation has issued a WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY because existing conditions, such as the combination of high water levels and flows, slippery banks and cold water temperatures, pose a serious safety risk.

A low-pressure system is moving through southern Ontario bringing significant rainfall amounts to the watershed region. The rain will begin this afternoon about 2 p.m., and continue throughout the night, tonight, and into the day, tomorrow. Rain will be heavy at times, with a possibility of thunderstorms tonight. Total accumulations could be as much as 30 millimetres before the system moves out of the region on Wednesday. This volume of precipitation will cause local water levels/flows to increase but is not expected to cause “overland flooding” (when water flows over normally dry land and enters property due to a river or lake overflowing its banks).

The system will also bring 30 millimetres to the area north of the Kawartha Lakes. This will be of interest to residents and businesses along the shores of the Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River because precipitation in the Haliburton Reservoir Lakes region drains southward into the Kawartha Lakes, which in turn, drain via the Otonabee River to Rice Lake and the Trent River. Hence, precipitation (rain and/or melting snow) in the Reservoir Lakes Region is the primary source for rising water levels and flows along the Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River.

Owing to the forecast rain, localized accumulations and ponding of water is expected to occur in low-lying areas where drainage is poor. Also, catch basins and culverts may be clogged with debris and/or ice causing inundation of adjacent roads, sidewalks, bicycle paths and multi-use trails. In addition, ice cover on area lakes, rivers and wetlands should be considered unsafe. Furthermore, the water temperature is extremely cold this time of year, and the banks extremely slippery. With this message, therefore, the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority is advising area residents to keep away from all waterbodies/watercourses, all water conveyance structures ( e.g., dams, culverts and bridges), and to also stay clear of anywhere that water can be seen to be accumulating and ponding.

This WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY message will next be in effect until MONDAY, APRIL 09, 2018.

For updates, please visit the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority website – http://www.otonabeeconservation.com/