On Monday and Tuesday, areas in the Lower Thames watershed experienced warm temperatures and somewhere between 15 and 35 mm of rain. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing today and tomorrow and then rise above freezing for Friday through the weekend. Currently there is 5 mm of rain expected on Saturday.
Now that the warm temperatures and rain have passed, water levels on all the region’s smaller local watercourses are dropping. In some areas water levels remain high due to snow and ice blockages in those watercourses. The predicted rain for the weekend will cause water levels to rise again, but not high enough to spill their banks unless snow and ice blockages cause problems.
Water levels on the Thames River peaked in the City of London overnight. That water will work its way downstream over the next few days, peaking in Thamesville and Chatham over the weekend. The flows coming downstream are not typically associated with flooding, except in the most low-lying areas adjacent to the river. However, there are large accumulations of broken ice in the river beginning just downstream of Thamesville and extending upstream almost to the Chatham-Kent / Middlesex / Elgin border. This ice accumulation caused elevated water levels through this stretch and some distance upstream during last week’s high water event, and is likely to do so again. Some flooding of the low-lying river flats adjacent to river should be expected as the water makes its way downstream.
While there is still ice on the Thames River from the Kent Bridge area down to the mouth, the ice has degraded due to the warm temperatures and rainfall. Large areas of open water have appeared where the ice has melted out and even stretches that look intact are probably unsafe. Conditions are expected to degrade even further over the weekend.
People should take extra caution and avoid the river, ditches, and streams. The combination of slippery banks, broken or 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.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until January 29th, 2018.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (519-354-7310 x 227, email@example.com) regarding this message.