Flood Watch | March 19, 2021


Message # 2021-04 
Issued:   12:45 p.m., Friday March 19, 2021

Subject: FLOOD WATCH issued for the section of the Trent-Severn Waterway that is within the Otonabee Region watershed

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 WATCH is issued to alert municipalities and residents that flood conditions are a possibility.

Weather Forecast: Starting tomorrow, Saturday March 20th, the Haliburton Lakes/Reservoir Lakes Region of the Trent-Severn Waterway will begin experiencing double-digit daytime high air temperatures that are expected to continue for 7 to 10 days, resulting in snowmelt. At the beginning of this 7 to 10-day period, overnight lows will be below 0 degrees Celsius, but will steadily rise to above 0 by Tuesday, March 23rd, resulting in several days of 24-hour continuous snowmelt.  There is also precipitation in the forecast during this 7 to 10-day period, but the forecasted amounts are minimal.    

Current Conditions in the Haliburton Lakes/Reservoir Lakes Region:  Currently, there is an average of 100 millimeters of water equivalency in the snowpack. The forecasted warmer air temperatures are expected to release a significant portion of the snowpack’s water content, causing rising water levels and flows in the lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and wetlands of the Haliburton Lakes/Reservoir Lakes Region.

Risk to the Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River: The Haliburton Lakes/Reservoir Lakes Region is hydrologically connected to the Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, Rice Lake, and the Trent River. Therefore, the forecasted warm air temperatures and snowmelt in the Haliburton Lakes/Reservoir Lakes Region will cause water levels on the Kawartha Lakes to increase, possibly rapidly. Increasing water levels on the Kawartha Lakes will, in turn, increase the water level/flow on the Otonabee River, which will then raise water levels on Rice Lake, and beyond.  Also, rising water levels are often the impetus for ice-cover break-up on the Kawartha Lakes, leading to ice damage along shorelines and the loosening of shoreline debris. Ice/debris can accumulate around water control/water conveyance structures (e.g., dams, culverts, and bridges), possibly causing localized flooding behind the ice/debris jam.

With this message, Otonabee Conservation is advising all area residents to: 1) immediately prepare themselves for possible flooding; 2) keep away from all waterbodies/watercourses, water control/conveyance structures (e.g., dams, culverts and bridges); and, 3) stay clear of anywhere that water can be seen to be accumulating and ponding.

Area water information can be monitored on-line at:

  1. Trent-Severn Waterway’s Water Management InfoNet
  2. Water Survey of Canada Real-Time Hydrometric Data 
  3. Otonabee Conservation Precipitation and Water Level Data

This FLOOD WATCH message will expire Thursday, April 01, 2021.

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