Flood Watch Update | Jan. 20, 2023

Issued:  4:00 p.m., Thursday January 19, 2023

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.

In December 2022, the Haliburton Lakes Region received significant snowfalls followed by an unseasonable upsurge in air temperatures coupled with large rainfall events, leading to pronounced and rapid snowmelt and rainfall runoff, causing the lakes, rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands in the Haliburton Lakes Region to swell and flood adjacent low-lying areas.

The Kawartha Lakes are hydrologically connected to the Haliburton Lakes Region via the Gull River, Burnt River, Nogies Creek, Mississauga River, Eels Creek and Jack Creek. Therefore, over the past two weeks, we here in the Kawartha Lakes-Otonabee River Region have been the recipients of excess water arriving from the Haliburton Lakes Region as well as experiencing high water levels/flows on local rivers, streams and creeks due to local snowmelt and rainfall run-off.

Fortunately, the return to cold air temperature of late has stemmed the snowmelt/rainfall run-off locally and in the north. However, the high flows on the Otonabee River and some local watercourses, such as Jackson Creek, combined with cold air temperatures to cause frazil ice. Frazil ice generation and accumulation can cause channel constriction and the back-up of water behind the accumulation.

Flows in the area have peaked and are very gradually receding. At the same time, air temperatures have warmed to above seasonal. However, with river flows remaining significantly higher than average, and the long-range weather forecast calling for a return to extreme cold air temperatures, frazil ice formation remains a flood threat.

Alone, high water levels/flows pose a serious risk to safety in and around area local watercourse and waterbodies. Therefore, Otonabee Conservation advises residents in flood-prone areas to remain vigilant, keeping a watchful-eye for potential flooding and to stay clear of lakes, rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands.

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, February 2nd, 2023, unless up-dated earlier.

For more information, contact:
Gordon 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