The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority would like to issue a flood watch statement to residents regarding current watershed conditions.
A system is forecast to bring warm temperature and significant spring precipitation on Wednesday. Area watershed forecast indicates 10-25 mm of rainfall with daytime high temperatures in the single digits with nighttime lows near or below 0 degrees through to Wednesday before a cooling trend sets in on Thursday.
The snowpack measurements across the watershed are averaging a snow depth of 30-40 cm. The water equivalent or the amount of water contained in the snowpack is averaging 95 mm. This water content is not above the long-term average for this time of year.
Warm temperatures and forecast precipitation will result in the continuation of spring melt and produce runoff across the watershed. Currently, local rivers, creeks and streams are flowing at normal levels. The precipitation forecast combined with snowmelt will contribute to significant runoff to rivers and streams resulting in potential for flooding of low-lying areas.
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 29, 2021.