May 2, 2019 - Stop logs are in and pump is on at Parks Creek Backflood Control Dam. Part of NBMCA's natural hazard program.
(North Bay May 2, 2019) Lake Nipissing has now reached the level where there is the potential for damage to shoreline properties and properties in the Parks Creek neighbourhood, prompting the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) to put the Parks Creek Flood Control Structure into full operation today.
“Lake Nipissing reached 196.22 metres today, and it is forecasted to continue rising for the next 10 to 15 days. This may pose a threat to properties along the Lake Nipissing and Callander Bay shoreline, as well as along the lower La Vase River, particularly if there are strong winds or waves,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer.
The Parks Creek Backflood Control Structure is part of NBMCA’s natural hazard program. It is located in Eva Wardlaw Conservation Area at the mouth of the Parks Creek on Lake Nipissing near Lakeshore Drive and Marshall Avenue in North Bay. The Conservation Area is now closed and will remain closed while the backflood control structure is in operation.
“The structure was installed in 1994-95 to help prevent Lake Nipissing from backing up Parks Creek and flooding its surrounding low lands causing basement flooding and overcharging the municipal storm sewer system for approximately 350 homes,” said Romanchuk.
Although the structure is maintained and tested annually, the last time it was in full operation was in May 2009.
Since April 18, more than 105mm of precipitation has fallen, and more than 100mm of snow-water-equivalence has melted in the North Bay-Mattawa area. Lake Nipissing receives a large percent of its runoff from northern watersheds such as Temagami where snowmelt is continuing and accumulating in the system. That, together with the up to 20 mm of rain forecast over the next five days, will add to the lake’s rise in water level.
There is flooding in low lying areas along the Mattawa River, and the NBMCA continues to monitor the Ottawa River forecast for impacts to the Town of Mattawa. There are signs that water levels are slowly receding in some area rivers and streams, but these may be impacted by additional precipitation.
NBMCA has extended its Flood Warning to next Tuesday and reminds people to keep children and pets away from watercourses and streambanks for safety, due to the cold, fast moving water.
Three bays in the control structure are filled with galvanized steel stop logs to block the flow of water from Lake Nipissing. There are two pumps within the structure now working to transfer the creek’s normal water flows to the downstream side of the structure at the rate of up to 0.3 cubic metres per second.
An additional pump was brought in and installed in the creek today as a precaution, to add an additional 0.3 cubic metres of pumping capacity if water levels warrant. A boom has been installed upstream of the dam to stop debris and restrict any boats or paddlers from reaching the dam by the creek. Boat traffic is neither permitted nor possible through the structure while it is in operation.
Information about the current status of Lake Nipissing may be found at the Public Services & Procurement Canada (PSPC) website:
Information about the current forecast water levels for the Ottawa River may be found at the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board website: http://www.ottawariver.ca/Forecast-2019.pdf.
The current Ottawa River water level may be viewed at the Water Survey of Canada website.
If property owners think that their property may be at risk of flooding, they should contact their municipality. People in unorganized townships should contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario North Bay District Office 705-475-5550.
Staff at the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority will continue to monitor weather and watershed conditions and provide updates if conditions change.
NBMCA posts updates on its website, www.nbmca.ca as well as on social media. twitter @theNBMCA, Instagram nbmcainfo, and facebook NBMCA. The public is invited to share photos of watershed conditions on social media using #NBMCAFlood.
This message will be in effect until (or updated before) Tuesday, May 7, 4:00pm.
Kurtis Romanchuk, Duty Officer, 705 474-5420
Sue Buckle, Supervisor Communications & Outreach, 705 474-5420 ext 2010
May 5, 2019 - Supplemental Pump being lowered into Parks Creek above Flood Control Dam