MVCA calls for average flood conditions in watershed

MISSISSIPPI AND CARP RIVER WATERSHEDS — The Mississippi Conservation Authority (MVCA) says the snowpack is above average for this time of year with very little runoff so far.

“Water content in the snowpack remains well above average for this time of year across the Mississippi Valley watershed,” MVCA water resources technologist Jennifer North released in a statement today. “Although the recent sunny weather has consolidated the snowpack, very little runoff has been observed to this point.”

The long-range weather forecast suggests temperatures will continue with single digit highs and below zero conditions at night with small amounts of precipitation expected. Based on that, snow melt is expected to produce a steady runoff with water levels and flows expected to gradually rise over the next few weeks.

“Assuming a sustained gradual melt, average flooding conditions are expected this spring across the Mississippi Valley watershed,” North said. “However, any significant rain events or above normal temperatures could cause higher than normal flooding conditions.”

No significant flooding is anticipated between now and March 19, but flows in ditches and smaller creeks are expected to increase, with ponding in low lying areas and potential ice jams.

Parents are encouraged to remind their children about the dangers of playing on or near ice covered surfaces or fast flowing water in ditches and smaller creeks. They are also reminded to keep their pets away from the same areas.

Residents in flood prone or low lying areas, historically susceptible to flooding, should take the precautions to protect their property:

  • Ensure sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve on it
  • Check portable backup generator and pump
  • Ensure downspouts are clear and the outlet is at least 3 m from the dwelling
  • Remove or secure items that might float away as flows increase including hazardous material such as gas cylinders, solvents, etc.
  • Remove valuable items from basements or lower floors that could be subject to flooding
  • Keep emergency phone numbers handy
  • Familiarize yourself with your municipality’s emergency preparedness plan

Daily water levels and flows are available on the MVCA website at Updates to the watershed conditions will be issued as required. Please note that the MVCA does not monitor ice conditions.

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until March 19, 2020 and will be updated at that time unless the forecasts change.

Mississippi Valley Conservation staff monitor weather conditions and snowpack water content, operate dams to help mitigate flooding, forecast expected river flows and water levels and issue flood advisories or warnings as required. The MVCA provides early warning and regular updates to municipal and provincial emergency response personnel during flood events.