MISSISSIPPI RIVER WATERSSHED — A deluge or rain raised the rivers in the Mississippi River Watershed, but levels are expected to decrease over the week.
“The Mississippi River watershed received significant rainfall over the weekend,” the Mississippi River Conservation Authority (MVCA) water resources engineer Christopher McGuire released in a statement today (Jan. 13). “Gauges in the upper watershed recorded between 80 and 105 mm while 50 to 90 mm were recorded in the lower watershed. As a result, flows have increased significantly, and ice stability has been compromised across the watershed. Flows are expected to peak in 24 to 48 hours.”
The MVCA says the Crotch Lake reservoir is full.
“Since the Crotch Lake reservoir is at capacity, there is no storage available to reduce flows downstream,” McGuire said. “This has caused Dalhousie Lake to rise 30 cm and an additional 20 to 30 cm increase is still expected. To mitigate flooding on Dalhousie Lake, upper watershed dams are not being operated at this time.”
Despite that, the MVCA says the Carp River flows have peaked and are expected to continue to decline throughout the week. Lakes upstream of Crotch Lake are expected to rise a total of 10 to 20 cm with no significant flooding.
At this time there is a risk of ice jams or frazil ice increasing river levels. Air temperatures below -8°C can result in frazil ice formations in open flowing water. Similarly, high flows can dislodge ice sheets creating jams. Both can cause water levels to rise quickly, without warning.
Residents are advised to maintain a close watch on levels and flows and take the necessary precautions to protect their property by:
- Ensuring sump pumps are clear and in good working condition
- Removing or securing items that might float away as flows increase
“Additionally, ice thickness can change drastically due to high flows,” McGuire said. “The shoreline adjacent to lakes, rivers and creeks is very slippery and poses a serious hazard. Falling into open water can result in hypothermia or drowning.”
The MVCA reminds the public to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies:
The public and pets should stay off all frozen water bodies.
Parents are urged to remind children about the dangers of playing on or near ice covered surfaces and open water.
Please note that the MVCA does not monitor ice conditions. The MVCA’s Flood Forecasting and Warning team will continue monitoring weather, snowpack, water level and flow conditions and issue updates as required.
This message will be in effect until (or updated before) Monday Jan. 20, at 4:30 p.m. Please visit the MVCA’s website for more information on: