Flood Watch Issued for the Goulais River

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Flood Watch

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Sault Ste. Marie District is advising area residents that a Flood Watch is in effect for the Goulais River.

Residents of the Sault Ste. Marie District area should keep a close watch on water conditions, regularly check for updated messages and stay away from fast-moving rivers and streams. Residents within the Goulais River Watershed are advised that ice jams are a possibility and that river conditions should be monitored closely as water levels can change very quickly if ice jams occur.

MNRF is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.

Current Weather System

The current cold front will prevail until the weekend which will give way to warmer temperatures and rain forecast for Saturday. Water levels and stream flows across much of northeastern Ontario are moderately elevated from ongoing spring snow melt and recent precipitation events.

Above freezing temperatures and precipitation are likely to further degrade the snowpack and produce continued runoff, increasing levels and flows. This will continue with forecast daytime highs over the next several days between 4° and 8°C and with nighttime temperatures near or just below freezing.

Current Conditions

Runoff from yesterdays rain event coupled with significant snowmelt is currently passing through the watershed and elevating water levels along the Goulais River and adjoining waterways. Although water levels are currently below critical thresholds, the Goulais River is showing signs of breaking up with some sections of the river now being ice free. The threat of ice jams are high on the river with ice flowing downstream and collecting at some locations.

Risks may include degradation of river ice and ice jam related flooding from increasing temperatures and flows, fast moving cold water with rapidly changing conditions, and flooding of low-lying areas with a history of flooding.

A close watch on local forecasts and water conditions is recommended.

This message will be in effect until (or updated before): Wednesday, March 31 2021, 12:00 A.M.

Notification Level Definitions
  • WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions
  • WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
  • FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities
  • FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.