With the recent warm temperatures, the existing snowpack began to melt which combined with the recent rainfall (up to 20 mm in the last 48 hours). The combination of the melting snow and rain caused water levels on the region’s smaller local watercourses to rise.
Late last night, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority staff closed the Rivard Dam to divert all McGregor Creek floodwater down the Indian-McGregor Creek Diversion Channel. The Rivard Dam was closed to prevent the McGregor Creek floodwater from combining with that from the Indian Creek watershed in order to protect the south side of the City of Chatham from basement flooding. Shortly after closing the dam, the rate of floodwater rise on Indian Creek noticeably slowed down and Indian Creek peaked mid-morning today. McGregor Creek continued to climb at its same rate following the dam closure until it peaked mid-morning today approximately 2.43 m (8 feet) above its base flow water level. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor water levels to determine the safe and appropriate time to re-open the Rivard Dam.
As there is still significant amounts of snow and ice in the region’s smaller watercourses, there is the potential for blockages that will cause further drainage problems and flooding. In urban areas, blocked catch basins or other drainage inlets could lead to standing water and localized flooding.
People should take extra caution around the river, ditches, and streams. The combination of slippery banks, unstable ice and fast moving cold water can be dangerous. Standing water can also present its own unseen hazards. Children and pets should be kept away from the water.
Some long range forecasts are predicting significant rainfall early next week that could lead to more flooding. Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory as necessary. This message will be in effect until February 18th, 2018.
Contact: Jason Homewood (519-354-7310 x 225, email@example.com) regarding this message.