Water Safety Statement issued January 14, 2020

Message #2020-02

Issued: 9:45 a.m., Tuesday January 14, 2020

SUBJECT: Watershed  Conditions Statement – Water Safety  issued for all watercourses / waterbodies in the geographical jurisdiction of the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA). 

ISSUED TO: Municipalities of Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan, Cavan Monaghan, City of Kawartha Lakes, City of Peterborough and Trent Hills, as well as Otonabee Conservation’s other partners in flood emergency management.

A Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety is issued when high flows, ice or other factors could be dangerous, but flooding is not expected.

WEEKEND WINTER STORM RECAP – Starting Friday, January 10th and continuing through Sunday, January 12th 2020, an intense winter storm invaded our Region bringing with it an abundance of warm, moisture-laden air. It has been reported that in the U.S.A. hurricane-force wind gusts, tornadoes, and snow, freezing rain, hail and rain that accompanied the winter storm resulted in at least 10 deaths, more than 1000 flight cancellations and widespread power outages across 5 states from Texas to Michigan. Fortunately, the winter storm was much less dangerous as it pushed across the Great Lakes into Ontario and through our Region. However, our Region did receive some impactful weather, including 55-60 mm of rain on Saturday, and 10 mm of freezing rain and snow Saturday night and into Sunday morning. This resulted in localized, minor flooding along several watercourses in the Region, overflowing of some catchment basins, culverts and drainage ditches due to ice-clogging, and the ponding of water in many low-lying areas because of poor drainage. On Sunday, the severe low-pressure system was pushed out of the Region by relatively dry Arctic air that plunged southward. 

CURRENT WATERSHED CONDITIONS and RISK – As winter returned to the Region on Sunday January 12th, water levels in rivers, streams and creeks returned to their normal confines. However, watercourses continue to experience abnormally high flows and ice-covered banks. In addition to dangerously high flows and slippery banks, water temperatures are extremely cold. It is most important, therefore, that area residents and visitors stay SAFE by Staying Away From the Edge of all watercourses / waterbodies – lakes, canals, rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands and drainage ditches.    


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