Watershed Conditions – Safety Bulletin
Date: 11:30 A.M., Friday, March 20, 2015
Issued to: Municipal Flood Coordinators of Municipalities, Media
Issued by: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Warming temperatures over the last two weeks caused most of the snowpack in the lower Thames watershed to melt and run off into the region’s watercourses. Some of the region’s smaller watercourses had reached bank full conditions or even topped their banks. Water levels on these smaller watercourses have now dropped and areas of localized flooding are drying out.
Water levels on the lower Thames River are dropping in the city of Chatham and upstream. Most of the ice has cleared out of the upstream river areas. The ice that has moved downstream is currently hung up and accumulating between Pump Road and Merlin Road downstream of Prairie Siding. Water levels can be expected to rise upstream of this ice. As water levels are dropping throughout the rest of the river, the dropping water levels should reach the ice jam location later today and moderate the backup effects. Downstream of the ice jam, the ice looks intact in places but is very weak. Large patches have opened up as far downstream as the Luken Marina in Lighthouse Cove. Flows are not anticipated to reach levels that have historically caused ice jam related flooding.
People should take extra caution and avoid the river, lakes, ditches, streams, and ponds. The combination of slippery banks, moving/melting ice and cold water is particularly dangerous. Parents should pay special attention to keep their children away from the water during this March Break.
The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority will continue to monitor conditions and will issue additional messages as required.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (519-354-7310 x227 or this email address) regarding this message.
This message will be in effect until March 23rd unless revised.