Spring flooding on the radar

Flooding is plausible this spring, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is warning.

The water content of the snow covering the Rideau watershed at this time of year is at near-record levels — the second highest since 1974.

Snowfall and rainfall over the next few weeks will determine if flooding will actually take place, however, “it’s the temperatures that will be the main factor,” said senior water resource technician Patrick Larson.

The capital saw flooding in 2008 and 2005, he said, adding this year things are looking similar.

The RVCA is keeping an eye on the weather forecast: Tuesday will see rain, with a high of 5C. Rain will likely continue Wednesday, peaking at 1C, while Thursday’s high is -3C.

Melting will occur, and flows and water levels will increase, but flooding isn’t expected this week.

Nonetheless, recreationists such as canoeists, hikers, anglers, and those with children and pets should be careful.

A few urban locations are slightly more susceptible to flooding, Larson said.

Those include areas below Hog’s Back.

“Near Rideau Falls is the starting point, if you will,” he said.

“So in New Edinburgh, there are some streets around Stanley Ave. that can be flooded.”

Residential areas near Brantwood, Brewer, and Windsor Parks are also at risk.

Outside the city, “upstream of Manotick, there are four or five lower-lying areas that can be flooded as well,” said Larson.

To view current conditions, visit rvca.ca/flood/index.html

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

Flood Watch: issued if the five-day forecast calls for warming temperatures and/or rain sufficient to raise the water levels to flood stage in at least one flood vulnerable community.

Flood Warning: issued at least 48 hours before the river is expected to reach flood stage in at least one flood vulnerable community.

Safety: Water levels may increase and ice covers on local stream and rivers will become increasingly unstable posing potential safety risks. Parents should inform their children of the risks associated with increased flows and unstable ice conditions in area watercourses, and supervise.


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