Yesterday, the daytime high temperature exceeded 10 C throughout most of the Thames River watershed. The watershed also received between 5 and 25 mm of rainfall. About 13 mm fell over the McGregor Creek subwatershed in Chatham-Kent.
The combined warm temperatures and rainfall melted most of the snow in the lower watershed. Most of the watercourses have also lost their ice cover. The combined runoff from the rainfall and melted snow caused water levels to rise and some watercourses spilled their banks. Flows in McGregor Creek reached sufficient levels that the Conservation Authority began operations of the Indian-McGregor Creek Diversion Channel late last evening. Water levels on the tributaries of the Thames River have now all started to recede.
Water levels in the Thames River have also risen and can be expected to rise some more over the next few days. It is not anticipated that they will rise enough to flood the low lying areas adjacent to the river. Prior to the melt, there was approximately 10 cm of ice cover on the Thames River. The melting and rising water levels have caused most of the ice to flush out of the river. However, there does appear to be a small ice jam on the Thames between Harwich Road and Communication Road. This ice jam is not expected to cause any flooding at this point.
People should take extra caution and avoid the river, ditches, and streams. 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 and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until December 29th, 2016.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (email@example.com) regarding this message.