Flood Warning Updated January 21, 2020

Message #2020-06

Issued: 12:30 p.m., Tuesday January 21, 2020

Subject:  FLOOD WARNING – UPDATE issued for Otonabee River 

Issued to: Municipalities of Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan, Cavan Monaghan, City of Kawartha Lakes, City of Peterborough and Trent Hills, and Otonabee Conservation’s other partners in flood emergency management.

This FLOOD WARNING – UPDATE is issued to provide municipalities, residents and businesses an update to the flooding that is occurring on the Otonabee River. In addition, residents and businesses located on the shoreline of the Kawartha Lakes and Rice Lake are experiencing unseasonably high water levels, but no flooding is expected.

Flood waters on the Otonabee River continue to rise, albeit at a significantly slowed rate. In the 76 hours between Friday January 17th at noon and Monday January 20th at noon, the rate of rise on the Otonabee River was approximately 1 centimeter per hour on average. In the past 24 hours, however, the rise in water levels has averaged approximately 0.5 centimeters per hour.  

There are at least 2 frazil ice jams causing the water levels to rise on the Otonabee River. One ice jam has developed in the vicinity of Cedar Bank Road and the other is located south of the Bensfort Road crossing. Low-lying shoreline development areas that are located upstream of these ice jam formations are experiencing floodwaters, particularly Cedar Bank Road, Greenwood Road, Willow Road, Michaels Crescent, and Jones Road.

In response to the rise of water levels within the Otonabee River, the Trent-Severn Waterway has decreased the outflows from the Kawartha Lakes, thereby reducing the turbulence of water flowing down the Otonabee. In addition, the weather forecast is for milder air temperatures. Given that turbulent flows and cold air temperatures are both fundamental ingredients for frazil ice generation, it is expected that the forecasted milder air temperatures and reduced flows will significantly slow frazil ice generation, if not eliminate it entirely. 

This, however, does not guarantee that the ice jams themselves will release. Therefore, residents and businesses along the shores of the Otonabee River are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant in monitoring conditions and to take action to protect themselves, and to limit or prevent damages; the risk of further flooding still persists.  To obtain information regarding water levels and operations along the Trent-Severn Waterway, please refer to the Trent-Severn Waterway’s Water Management InfoNet available at: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/info/infonet/niveau-eau-water-levels

All residents should keep SAFE by Staying Away From the Edge of all area waterbodies and watercourses.

Otonabee Conservation staff will continue to monitor conditions.

This FLOOD WARNING –UPDATE will remain in effect until, or be updated before, FRIDAY, January 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.


Gord Earle | Flood Forecasting & Warning Duty Officer | 705-745-5791 x 214
250 Milroy Drive, Peterborough, ON K9H 7M9
orcafloodduty@otonabeeconservation.com | Flood Watch Hotline 705-745-5791 x 228