(North Bay March 27, 2020) This weekend’s forecast for 30-35mm of rain combined with snowmelt and spring-level water courses has prompted the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority to issue its third flood forecasting statement this spring.
A Water Safety Statement – Flood Outlook gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff or cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.
Current forecasts for the North-Bay Mattawa area call for a possible 30-35mm of rain Saturday and Sunday. The highs are expected to be between 5 to 10 degrees Celsius and the lows will be between 1 to 5 degrees Celsius. Water levels on watercourses within NBMCA’s jurisdiction are generally above their average ranges for this time of year. Chippewa Creek, the La Vase River, and the Wasi River are at levels that would be typical for April.
“The widespread precipitation forecast combined with the water content of the snowpack and above-zero overnight temperatures are anticipated to cause melting and significant runoff into area lakes and watercourses. As watercourses are now elevated at spring levels, there is potential that watercourses may reach flood levels in some areas,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer.
As of the last NBMCA snow survey (March 24), there was an average of 121mm of snow-water-equivalence (SWE) at our three snow survey sites (this was a supplemental survey, so no long-term averages are available for comparison). The snowpack has reduced in depth as a result of intermittent melting and rainfall over the past couple of weeks but it is still holding a large water content.
All residents, especially those in low-lying areas, are encouraged to monitor the conditions that are developing. Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks become very slippery with precipitation and melting conditions. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses and water bodies with open water, and exercise caution around frozen areas as ice conditions continue to deteriorate.
Municipalities are encouraged to monitor shorelines and water crossings, and respond to high water levels as necessary.
A close watch on local conditions and updated forecasts and warnings from Environment Canada is also recommended. Staff at the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority will continue to monitor weather and watershed conditions and provide updates if conditions change.
The general public is advised of these messages through the www.nbmca.ca website with the flood status icon and a link to information about current conditions. NBMCA also circulates these messages to local media and social media, posting on Twitter (@theNBMCA), Instagram (nbmcainfo), and Facebook (theNBMCA). Terminology: Notification Levels
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) Monday, March 30, 4:00pm.
Kurtis Romanchuk, Duty Officer, 705 474-5420
Sue Buckle, Manager, Communications & Outreach, 705 474-5420 ext 2010 cell: 705 497-4999