The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority would like to issue a statement to residents in regard to current watershed conditions.
Recent warm temperatures have caused melting of the snowpack and the depth of the snowpack throughout the watershed has decreased significantly.
There are remnants of snow in the northern portion of the watershed.
The recent runoff from the melting snow has entered local rivers and streams and caused an increase in water levels and flows.
The weather forecast over the next 48 hours indicates a precipitation system is forecast to bring between 25 and 35 mm of rain to the Sault Ste. Marie watershed.
Although, water levels in local rivers have increased steadily over the last few days they are currently below flood levels.
Water levels will continue to increase as snow melt continues and the forecasted precipitation is received.
The amount of runoff anticipated from this rain event is expected to raise water levels significantly in the short term but stream flooding is not anticipated.
There may be localized flooding in areas with poor drainage.
The flood control channels owned and maintained by the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority are flowing well and melt water is entering the system.
As snow melt continues and anticipated rainfalls are received, the flood control channels will experience a rise in water levels.
It is important to remember that the water in rivers, streams and the channels is extremely cold and fast flowing waters are dangerous.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority will continue to closely monitor stream flows across the watershed.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority would like to extend a warning to residents and visitors to use extreme caution when close to rivers, creeks and channels.
Potential increases in water levels and flows can be especially dangerous and stream banks can be slippery.
Please keep children and pets away from fast flowing rivers and streams.
This statement is in effect until Thursday May 1, 2014.