Date: 4:30 P.M., Sunday, March 27th, 2016
Issued to: Municipal Flood Coordinators of Municipalities, Media
Issued by: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for the Thames River watershed area. Rainfall warnings are issued when 25 mm or more of rain are expected within 24 hours, when the ground is frozen or saturated, and has a reduced ability to absorb this rainfall. Forecasts are calling for a possible 25-50 mm of rainfall this evening and overnight.
If these high rainfall amounts occur, smaller local watercourses will rise quickly and some may run bank full or even spill their banks. The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority expects to be operating the Indian-McGregor Creek Diversion Channel.
The Thames River peaked at Dutton early this morning and without any additional rainfall, the river would be expected to peak overnight around Thamesville and in Chatham tomorrow morning. However, any additional rainfall will cause the river to rise further. Those upstream of Chatham can expect to see water levels rise back up above those seen over the past few days, but still remain within the river flats.
In the City of Chatham, if further rainfall occurs, the peak from local runoff would be expected to coincide with the existing peak on the Thames River from the rainfall that occurred back on the 24th having made its way downstream. This rainfall could boost water levels in the city substantially. Depending on the amount and timing of the rainfall, there is the potential for basement flooding of those businesses on King St. that back onto the Thames River. This would also require operation of the 6th St. Dam in Chatham to prevent flood waters backing up McGregor Creek.
People should take extra caution and avoid the river, ditches, streams, and ponds. The combination of slippery banks and fast moving cold water can be dangerous. Standing water can also present its own unseen hazards. Children, pets and livestock should be kept away from the water.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation very closely and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until March 28th, 2016.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (email@example.com) regarding this message.