(North Bay April 11, 2019)   Snowmelt, forecast rainfall, and water levels slightly above average in area creeks and rivers have prompted the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority to issue a Water Safety Statement for the watershed.

A water safety statement indicates that high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for people and pets near watercourses.  Flooding is not expected.

“The combination of snowmelt and rainfall over the next five days will increase runoff to watercourses and water bodies that are slightly above average for this time of year.  We are not anticipating flooding at this time.  However, water is likely to accumulate on roadways, parking lots, and flat and/or low-lying areas,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer.

The snowpack still holds, on average, approximately 132mm of water as of the most recent survey on April 9.   The average depth of snow at the three sites is 54.8cm, down 12.9cm since it was measured on April 1.

A low-pressure system is expected to move across northeastern Ontario on Thursday night, continuing on Friday, before leaving the province later in the weekend.  Temperatures are expected to be near zero on Thursday and Thursday evening, and in the 0-10°C range on Friday.  The precipitation forecast is 15mm across Thursday and Friday, first as snow, likely changing to freezing rain overnight and rain by Friday morning.  An additional 14mm is forecasted for Saturday.

“Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks become very slippery with precipitation and melting conditions, and when combined with cold open water can pose a serious hazard.  Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses and off water bodies which may have deep water and thinning, unsafe ice,” added Romanchuk.

All residents, especially those in low lying areas, are encouraged to monitor the conditions that are developing.  Municipalities are encouraged to monitor water crossings to ensure the continual movement of water through culverts and bridges.

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.on.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 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, April 16, 4:00pm.



Kurtis Romanchuk, Duty Officer, 705 474-5420
Sue Buckle, Supervisor Communications & Outreach, 705 474-5420 ext 2010 cell: 705 497-4999


Terminology: Notification Levels

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT: general notices of potential flooding or other conditions that pose a safety risk. There are two kinds of statements:

Water Safety indicates that high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for users such as anglers, boaters, swimmers, children or pets. Flooding is not expected.

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, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

FLOOD WATCH notifies that the potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

 FLOOD WARNING: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.