Flood Watch | March 25, 2021


Message # 2021-05
Issued:   2:45 p.m., Thursday March 25, 2021

Subject: FLOOD WATCH issued for all waterbodies/watercourses in 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.

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

Current and Forecast Conditions: Unseasonably warm and dry weather is thawing the ground and releasing a significant potion of the snowpack in the area north of the Kawartha Lakes (i.e., Haliburton Lakes/Reservoir Lakes Region). This is important to Otonabee Conservation’s Flood Forecasting and Warning (FFW) program because northern waterbodies/watercourses are hydrologically connected to the Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River (i.e., Trent-Severn Waterway).  As a result of inflows from the north, we are currently seeing rising water levels/flows on the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW).

In the Otonabee Region watershed, we have also been experiencing unseasonably warm and dry weather, which has melted the snowpack and thawed the ground. As a result, we are currently experiencing high water levels/flows in the Ouse River, Indian River and Otonabee River watersheds, but no flooding concerns.

However, starting tonight, an intense Texas Low will migrate into the Region, raising flooding concerns. This low-pressure system, which brought widespread flooding to the USA, is expected to deliver 20-30 millimeters (mm) of rain before shifting eastward on Friday, March 26th. The rain is expected to aggressively increase the inflows to the Kawartha Lakes, causing water levels on the Kawartha Lakes to increase, rapidly. Accompanying the Texas Low will be 30-50 kilometers per hour winds and the possibility of thunderstorms. 

Increasing water levels and strong winds will combine to cause the already weak ice cover on the Kawartha Lakes to break-up which could translate to ice damage and ice/debris jamming around water control/water conveyance structures. If thunderstorms occur, localized rainfall amounts of 40 to 50 mm could be realized, which is sufficient to cause localized flooding, especially where drainage is poor.  Another dosing of rain will begin on Saturday and continue into Sunday, delivering a total of approximately 10 mm over the 2 days. Following a drying out period on Monday and Tuesday, a third weather disturbance will bring 10 mm of rain on Wednesday, March 31st.

With this message, Otonabee Conservation is advising all area municipalities and residents to prepare themselves for possible flooding. 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.

For more information, please contact:
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