(North Bay March 24, 2021) The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority is issuing its first water safety statement this spring. Although increased runoff due to snow melt and precipitation are in the forecast, flooding is not expected at this time.
“Water levels on watercourses within NBMCA jurisdiction are slightly above average for this time of year due to the early snowmelt, but remain below flood levels. The relatively warm temperatures, combined with the anticipated rainfall will result in snowmelt and increased runoff to area lakes and watercourses,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer.
Current forecasts for the North-Bay Mattawa area vary, with up to 26mm of precipitation beginning today til Friday, some of which may arrive as snow on Friday. The high temperature today is forecast around 14 degrees Celsius, and highs will be between 0 and 8 degrees for the following four days. The low temperature will be above zero tonight around 7 degrees Celsius, but will drop on Thursday and remain between -8 and 0 degrees for the following four days.
As of the last NBMCA snow survey on March 22, there was an average of 93mm of snow-water-equivalence (SWE) at the three sites. More details on our snow survey can be found on NBMCA’s website: https://www.nbmca.ca/news/snow-survey-readings-for-march-22-2021/
“A number of factors contribute to the risk of flooding: the amount of snow and water content being one of several including ground conditions, wind, sun, temperature, as well as the amount, duration and frequency of precipitation. The cold nights and warmer days have been making for a steady spring melt so far. NBMCA is monitoring conditions on a daily basis and will update the public as necessary,” added Romanchuk.
The steady melt has reduced ice in Parks Creek to the point that the usual removal of ice from the creek will not be required this year unless an ice jam forms, blocking the flow as the ice melts and the creek’s flow increases from runoff and precipitation.
“NBMCA normally removes the ice in the spring if it is too thick to allow for melting snow, runoff and precipitation to flow to Lake Nipissing. If the runoff and flow can’t reach the lake, it threatens to flood approximately 350 homes in the area of Parks Creek,” said Troy Storms, Manager of Lands and Stewardship.
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 will begin 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).
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 29, 4:00pm.
Kurtis Romanchuk, Duty Officer, 705 474-5420
Sue Buckle, Manager, Communications & Outreach, 705 474-5420 ext 2010 cell: 705 497-4999