• Warm temperatures and rain over the next couple of days will cause water levels to rise.
• Possible flooding in low lying areas or on local watercourses where ice and snow create blockages
• The ice jam at Lighthouse Cove could mobilize. However, based on historical ice jams, it does not appear that there would be enough flow in the river to cause flooding, at least over the next few days.
The ice jam that formed earlier this month on the Thames River near the mouth at Lighthouse Cove remains in place. Ice on Lake St. Clair also remains in place around the mouth of the Thames River. The Lower Thames River appears largely ice free throughout Chatham-Kent down though Prairie Siding to the upstream end of the ice jam. In the Lower Thames watershed, weather forecasts are calling for 5-10 mm of rainfall this afternoon through tomorrow afternoon with temperatures remaining above freezing until tomorrow evening. In the Upper Thames watershed, forecasts are calling for similar temperatures and up to 15 mm of rain. In the Upper Thames watershed there is also an additional 40-50 mm of water stored in the snowpack that could be released.
Based on current forecasts, smaller local watercourses can be expected to rise but are not expected to reach bank full conditions. However, blockages due to ice and snow could create localized flooding.
Water levels can also be expected to rise on the Thames River. It is possible that water levels may raise high enough to flood the most low lying river flats from Delaware down to Chatham. That will depend on how much rainfall and snowmelt occurs. It is possible that the ice jam located at Lighthouse Cove could mobilize in the coming days. However, based on the local weather forecasts and the behavior of historical ice jams, it does not appear that there would be enough flow in the river to cause further flooding over the next few days. Flows coming out of the Upper Thames watershed as it melts would be expected to arrive in the area of the ice jam mid-week. It’s difficult to say this early what the impact of those flows may be.
People should take extra caution and avoid the river, creeks, ditches and streams. The combination of slippery banks and fast moving water can be dangerous. Standing water can also present its own unseen hazards. Children and animals 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 February 25th, 2019.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (Jason.email@example.com) regarding this message.