The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) would like to issue a water safety statement to residents regarding current watershed conditions.
The weather forecast for Thursday indicates a warming temperature of +5°C with a chance of up to 15-20 mm of rainfall.
The snowpack measurements across the watershed are averaging a snow depth of 70-80 cm. The water equivalent or the amount of water contained in the snowpack is averaging 242 mm. This water content is not above the long-term average for this time of year. The snow surveys and measurements are completed every two weeks by the SSMRCA in areas not affected by snow compaction or plowing.
Much of the anticipated precipitation will be absorbed into the existing snowpack but some runoff will occur with the associated warm temperatures.
Currently, local rivers, creeks and streams are flowing at normal levels. Snowmelt, warmer temperatures and runoff from the rainfall will cause levels and flows to rise across the watershed. 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 currently flowing at normal levels. 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 will be cold and fast flowing during and after the rainfall event.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority will continue to closely monitor stream flows across the watershed.
Residents and visitors are urged to stay away from the flood control channels and all waterways. Flows can be especially dangerous and stream banks can be slippery. Please keep children and pets away from waterways during this time.
This statement is in effect until March 19, 2020.