Flood Watch UPDATE | Jan. 12, 2023

Message # 2023-02

Issued:  12:30 p.m., Thursday January 12, 2023

Subject:  FLOOD WATCH UPDATE issued for the Trent-Severn Waterway (i.e., Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, Rice Lake and Trent River to Hastings) and Local Watercourses

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 ORCA’s other partners in flood emergency management.

This FLOOD WATCH is issued to alert municipalities, residents, and businesses that floods are possible.

As a result of rainfall and snowmelt across the Trent-Severn Waterway, Parks Canada is managing high water levels and flows through the entire system.  High flows are expected to continue along the Otonabee River for the next 7 to 10 days.

The winter storm forecast for Thursday through Friday will bring a return of cold air temperatures over the weekend, in combination with a lack of ice cover and turbulent flows on the Otonabee River and other local watercourses may result in the generation of frazil ice which can lead to flooding.

Frazil ice – a kind of slush ice – can form when cold air temperatures and wind chill combine to cause surface water temperature to be super-cooled, but unable to form a solid cover of ice because of fast moving water. As frazil ice flows downstream, it will eventually come to rest against obstructions (e.g., islands, bridge piers and abutments), in low velocity areas (bends and slope reductions) or in areas of channel constrictions. Where it comes to rest, it will accumulate. Frazil ice may also anchor itself to the bottom of a watercourse and accumulate. Where frazil ice accumulates, it is likely to cause a restriction of water flow downstream, thereby resulting in a rise of water, and possibly flooding, behind the frazil ice jam.  

Residents and businesses along the shores of the Otonabee River, Kawartha Lakes, and other local watercourses with historical frazil ice formation, especially those located in low-lying areas, are strongly encouraged to keep a close watch for frazil ice generation, accumulation, and jamming, and to take action to limit or prevent damages due to potential flooding.

Water levels 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 Region Conservation Authority website

This FLOOD WATCH message will expire Thursday January 19th, 2023, unless up-dated earlier.

For more information, please contact:
Neil MacFarlane | Flood Forecasting & Warning Duty Officer | 705-745-5791 x 231
250 Milroy Drive, Peterborough, ON K9H 7M9
orcafloodduty@otonabeeconservation.com | Flood Watch Hotline 705-745-5791 x 228