Flood Watch Update | Jan. 24, 2023

Issued:  2:00 p.m., Tuesday January 24, 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.

Winter will return from vacation on Wednesday, January 25th. Beginning Wednesday afternoon and continuing through Thursday morning, a strong low-pressure system will bring high winds, cold air temperatures and significant snowfall.

Wednesday/Thursday’s total snow accumulations are expected to be close to 20 centimeters across the watershed. This significant winter storm will be followed by a series of minor weather disturbances bringing more snow, albeit low accumulations, and continued cold air temperatures through to the end of January and into the early days of February. Falling snow and wind chill are ingredients that contribute to cooling of river/stream/creek water, promoting and accelerating the generation of frazil ice.

Starting overnight tonight (Tuesday, January 24th) and continuing for the next 7-10 days, the forecast is for wind chills that will drop overnight lows well into the double-digits. For example, tonight’s overnight low will be -11 degrees but with the windchill will feel like -14 degrees, and Thursday/Friday’s low is expected to be -19 degrees while feeling closer to -22 degrees.

Double-digit lows will combine with falling snow, the current above-average river/stream flows, and open river/stream channels (i.e., no insulating cover ice) to increase the generation of frazil ice on the Otonabee River and some of the smaller local watercourses such as Jackson Creek. Multiple days of frazil ice generation increases the possibility of frazil ice accumulation causing channel constriction and the back-up of water behind the accumulation/constriction, leading to flooding of adjacent low-lying areas.

Otonabee Conservation advises residents in low-lying, flood-prone areas to keep a watchful eye for frazil ice generation, accumulation and rising water levels and to prepare for potential flooding. Otonabee Conservation also advises residents/visitors to stay safe by staying away from lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands, ditches, culverts and water control structures.

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 02nd, 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